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Re: TAG feedback on Web Audio

From: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2013 17:40:23 -0700
Message-ID: <CANr5HFVZoAmHJppr_cRJaUZXcCMtSQBq8EDpN4xW9+947C+DYA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan.akhgari@gmail.com>
Cc: Olivier Thereaux <Olivier.Thereaux@bbc.co.uk>, "robert@ocallahan.org" <robert@ocallahan.org>, "public-audio@w3.org" <public-audio@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
My deep apologies for not replying sooner. Moving continents got in the
way. Hopefully it's not too late to be constructive.

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 5:41 AM, Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan.akhgari@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM, Olivier Thereaux <
> Olivier.Thereaux@bbc.co.uk> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Let me start by thanking the TAG for this review. It is great to see the
>> TAG getting its hands dirty and reviewing several specs in the web
>> platform for consistency and quality. I am very grateful for the work.
>> ROC pointed to the following part of the review, which I also find
>> problematic.
>> On 26/07/2013 02:16, "Robert O'Callahan" <robert@ocallahan.org> wrote:
>> >In the discussion of data races, it's not completely clear to me whether
>> >the current situation (as implemented in Webkit/Blink) is considered by
>> >the TAG to be "impermissible visible data races". Can you clarify that?
>> While the issue is obviously controversial in the WG, and the input of the
>> TAG more than welcome, I feel I have to point back at my earlier message
>> on the topic:
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-audio/2013JulSep/0245.html
>> Language such as “it is impermissible for Web Audio to unilaterally add
>> visible data races” without any consideration of the probability and
>> impact of said data races is, IMHO, rather peremptory and thus ultimately
>> unhelpful in helping our group decide the best course of action.
> I already posted my take on this here: <
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-audio/2013JulSep/0257.html>;
> I'd be curious to know what Alex and others of TAG members think about this.

My view is that your basis for objecting to data races is *also* legitimate
but ultimately less compelling (to me) than the invariant breakage about
current JS execution behavior.

The argument boils down to this: if the goal of this system is to describe
a low-level system which, at bottom, is about JS driving audio hardware, we
need to design it in such a way that it's sane with respect to JS and
there's no *independent* way for a JS context to have introduced this
behavior visibly, so from the perspective of de-sugaring, this is a visible
side-effect of non-self-hosting, and therefore deeply problematic. It
demands that there be "magic" in the platform. This is an anti-pattern.

But please note that there is no good reason to assume that the position of
> data races not being OK is the weaker position which needs to carry the
> burden of proof.

A good point = )

>  One could easily turn the table around and ask for the proponents of
> exposing data races to the Web to bring reasons to justify their position.
> Given the fact that the argument to the contrary isn't very convincing to
> our side, I think trying to put the entire weight of proof on the shoulders
> of only one of the sides of this argument can be unhelpful.
> Cheers,
> --
> Ehsan
> <http://ehsanakhgari.org/>
Received on Friday, 2 August 2013 00:41:21 UTC

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