W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > September 2002

RE: TAG Comments on XHTML 2.0 and HLink

From: David Orchard <dorchard@bea.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 09:28:14 -0700
To: "'Mike Champion'" <mike.champion@softwareag-usa.com>, <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <05a401c26579$b7159b90$0100007f@beasys.com>

I hardly think that the TAG recommendation is equivalent to the infamous
declaration of the value of pi.  They picked the wrong value and wrong data
type of something manifestly obvious.

The topic of "ditching" XLink certainly came up as well.  That was
definitely on the table as an option, FWIW.

What's wrong from the process perspective?  The TAG got asked: what's the
scope of Xlink, particularly wrt new linking constructs in xhtml.  It
answered, based upon some darned serious discussion and analysis by people
that are also pretty darned familiar with the issues.  Now there will be
feedback and discussion.

I'd rather focus on the technical aspects.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of
> Mike Champion
> Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 7:09 AM
> To: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: Re: TAG Comments on XHTML 2.0 and HLink
> Steven Pemberton writes:
> > That the TAG doesn't yet understand how XLink gets in the
> way of combining
> > with other specifications will be the source for much
> future discussion,
> It's exactly this aspect of the TAG's decision that causes me the most
> consternation.  The decision seems to have been taken on the grounds
> of making the W3C specs consistent with one another rather than on the
> basis of a deep understanding of the technical issues
> involving HTML and
> XLink.  That is very desireable *goal* of the W3C, and was a
> reason for
> the TAG's formation.  Unfortunatately, (to pick up on Didier Martin's
> point)  coherence doesn't come from a committee vote, but only
> after lots of thought, experiment, creativity, and flexibility by
> all concerned.
> As I understand the history of mathematics, for example, it was a
> very long and hard struggle for any particular discipline to find a
> set of "axioms" that were both powerful and consistent.  It
> can't be done
> by fiat;  I'm reminded of the (possibly apocryphal) story of
> the Kentucky legislature voting to set the value of PI at
> exactly 3.14 because
> the rest of the digits were too, uhhh, irrational.  Or the
> story that Gauss
> didn't dare to publish his exposition of non-Euclidian
> geometry because
> he feared the wrath of of the mathematical community that
> valued "coherence"
> over more profound truth.
> The W3C simply can't pretend that the first Recommendation
> in an area is sacrosanct, or that local consensus is the
> path to global truth.  Local consensus codified in a Recomendation is
> a way for competing companies and researchers to move forward in a way
> that minimizes the gratuitous differences among their
> approaches, maximizes
> the re-use of components, and minimizes the pain to our "customers."
> That's not "global consistency" but it beats hell out of chaos!
> The TAG has a role to play in guiding WGs to operate in a way
> that encourages
> global consistency, certainly.  Still, this has to be a
> two-way street --
> old Recommendations may need to be refactored, current WG's
> more strongly
> encouraged to work toward a global consistency -- and this
> will require
> hard work by the subject area specialists in the wG as well
> as guidance
> by the TAG.
> We need to work for conceptual integrity, not foolish consistency.
> [NOT speaking on behalf of the Web Services Architecture WG,
> only expressing
> my personal opinion]
Received on Thursday, 26 September 2002 12:31:48 UTC

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