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[Bug 9883] Notes on and request for references for Section 1.4: History

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:38:18 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Op3og-0001jB-1o@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9883


Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Status|NEW                         |RESOLVED
                 CC|                            |ian@hixie.ch
         Resolution|                            |WONTFIX




--- Comment #1 from Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>  2010-08-27 18:38:17 ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> Ian, these comments are meant in the spirit of the "Reviewing HTML5" page on
> the WHATWG wiki: http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Reviewing_HTML5.  My main foci
> were clarity and external citations.

Thanks!

> 1. It would be very helpful to have citations to relevant documents in this
> section. Those reading a "history" section would most likely want to follow
> links to source documents to evaluate them for themselves. At the very least,
> please add references to the mentioned specs: HTML 3, 3.2, 4, XML, XHTML,
> XHTML2, the DOM specs, and XForms. Those would, of course, be non-normative.

That would be a really long list of references. I'm not sure it's really worth
it.

> 2A. The following sentence is a bit awkward and confusing: "At this early
> stage, while the draft was already publicly available, and input was already
> being solicited from all sources, the specification was only under Opera
> Software's copyright." It is unclear to me what this actually means. Does it
> essentially mean that Opera led the effort to develop a new specification,
> soliciting input from the public and making the draft publicly available.  

This sentence was very carefully crafted. :-) It means exactly what it says,
which is that the copyright was Opera's, specifically without talking about who
was "leading" the effort, which is a much harder question to answer.

> 2B. It would be helpful in the aforementioned paragraph to indicate a date.
> Clearly, it's between 2004-2006 (inclusive).

The previous paragraph says 2003; is that not sufficient?

> 3. "The copyright was subsequently amended to be jointly owned by all three
> vendors, and to allow reuse of the specification." How does one "amend"
> copyright?

With great difficulty, it turns out.

> Was this in terms of amending an application to a country's
> copyright office? Was copyright reassigned to WHATWG? Was the copyright notice
> merely changed to state the three vendors?

The latter, through complicated negotiations that I'd really rather not relive
by describing them in the spec. :-)

> 4. Putting this section in the active voice would benefit its overall clarity. 

Actually the passive voice was an intentional choice to enable the events to be
described without attributing responsibilities.

> Take for example, the following phrase: "The idea that HTML's evolution should
> be reopened was tested at a W3C workshop in 2004." Who did the "testing"? If
> part of the goal of this section is to tell a joint W3C/WHATWG history of
> HTML5, this goal would be aided by not hiding agency by using the passive
> voice.

The original goal of this specification was to clarify who owned the copyright,
and to give a little background, without giving credit or blame for specific
actions. This is a goal that unfortunately conflicts with the goal of having
good clear writing in the active voice.


I haven't made any changes to the text, though I did look at each comment you
made  sorry! I hope you don't mind. This is an area with somewhat sensitive
political implications.



EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please
reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML
Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest
title and text for the tracker issue; or you may create a tracker issue
yourself, if you are able to do so. For more details, see this document:
   http://dev.w3.org/html5/decision-policy/decision-policy.html

Status: Rejected
Change Description: no spec change
Rationale: see above

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Received on Friday, 27 August 2010 18:38:22 UTC

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