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[Bug 9894] The chairs should be required to ensure that decisions result in consistent specifications

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 12:42:48 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1OMh5s-0003wa-8f@jessica.w3.org>

Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
                 CC|                            |shelleyp@burningbird.net

--- Comment #1 from Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>  2010-06-10 12:42:47 ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> The decision process currently leads to decisions that make the spec
> inconsistent. For example, the recent decision to remove a paragraph of
> implementation advice in one section left another paragraph with essentially
> the same advice untouched, and left dozens of other paragraphs with similar
> advice alone.
> The process should be changed to require that the chairs ensure that working
> group decisions are based on general guidelines that can be consistently
> applied to the whole specification (or group of specifications, where
> appropriate).
> For example, in the case above, the working group decision could have been "the
> html specification should not include optional implementation advice", or "the
> html specification should not attempt to improve accessibility" or "the html
> specification should not acknowledge the possibility of authors making
> authoring mistakes", each of which would result in the paragraph being removed
> but would _also_ result in the spec being consistently updated so that it
> remained coherent.
> This change should be retroactive (i.e. should require previous decisions to be
> explained in terms of general principles). Without such guidance, I'm unable to
> effectively execute my duties as editor.

The co-chairs recently decided against a couple of my change proposals. I do
not feel it was the co-chairs job to include in these decisions a complete
evaluation of the entire 900+ page HTML5 document. To do so would mean that any
decision--even one as small as removing a simple and unnecessary
paragraph--would require weeks, even months of their time. 

For instance, one of my change proposals was to remove figure. The chairs
decided to keep the element based on objections in the survey. Should the
co-chairs then have justified their decision in terms relative to why every
element in the HTML5 spec also remains? 

Considering that no justification or rationale was given for when the element
was first added, it seems to me you're asking for something you're not willing
to give yourself. 

If you want to prevent a change you might start by providing better rationales
when you respond in bugs. You might also want to write change proposals
justifying your text and decisions when they're questioned or when working
group members ask for a change.

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Received on Thursday, 10 June 2010 12:42:50 UTC

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