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Re: an XML-URI Activity Proposal for discussion

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 11:15:43 -0400
Message-Id: <200007141513.LAA12449@hesketh.net>
To: xml-uri@w3.org
At 04:52 PM 7/12/00 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:
>Dan wrote:
>>Toward that end, I give you:
>>
>>       XML-URI Activity Proposal 
>>       DRAFT ONLY, for discussion in xml-uri
>
>Indeed.  This is a hard task, but valuable, and I think that there are
>many attainable points of consensus.  I suspect it's going to be tough for 
>some people who care about this to justify investment of (scarce) time & 
>energy to their management.  I support the creation of this activity and 
>should it happen, will volunteer to contribute a modest but nonzero 
>amount of input to it.  I suggest that it's not worth creating unless there
>are a few others also willing to contribute. -Tim

I've been pondering this proposal for a few days.

I think the activities proposed are worthwhile, but I remain _extremely_
concerned about organizational bias toward a set of so-called 'axiomatic'
solutions.

I don't like the prospect of a Working Group being set up to address
complex and controversial questions while already knowing the answers
already prepared by the Director and Staff, who don't seem likely to remain
neutral.  They certainly haven't been neutral on this list, and the History
section of the draft, for instance, is clearly written from the Director's
perspective.

I'd strongly suggest finding some way of running this activity that doesn't
'stack the deck' with members from the URI community, and which has
independence from the Director and W3C Staff.  A neutral moderator (ideally
a professional moderator) would be useful.  Publicly available archives
would significantly enhance the credibility of the exercise as well.

These recent discussions have damaged the W3C's credibility substantially,
but, in my view, the worst damage has been done in private.  I've heard too
many URI-related stories of "X said it had to be this way" (where X is any
of a number of people), and those stories seem to be the ones that generate
complex difficulties like those we've seen in the last 1760 messages.

I agree with Tim Bray that "I suggest that it's not worth creating unless
there are a few others also willing to contribute."  I'd add to that
suggestion that it may not be worth creating unless extra steps are taken
to ensure that its results are accepted as credible by a larger audience
than the W3C itself.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Friday, 14 July 2000 11:13:06 UTC

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