Re: HTML5 proposal response

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the update! Some comments --

On Apr 19, 2007, at 4:28 PM, Chris Wilson wrote:

> There has been a lot of discussion about the three-part HTML5  
> adoption proposal.  I would like to respond to it, since there’s  
> been a bunch of demand for both Microsoft and the chairs to  
> respond.  Dan already did respond as chair and represented us both,  
> but I wanted to give some insight into the “process”.
> I have had exactly one (email) conversation with Dan about this  
> proposal, and one phone discussion back about a month ago about  
> editorship.  Dan's response to Maciej yesterday afternoon reflected  
> exactly the extent of those discussions - in fact, I think Maciej  
> already knew how I felt about it, as I'd talked to him about it  
> earlier this week privately.  I have not previously replied  
> publicly, as I wanted to hear what others had to say before opening  
> my mouth and coloring all future discussion.
> 1)  As both a co-chair and as Microsoft representative, I have no  
> problem with taking the HTML5 spec from the WHATWG as the basis for  
> the specification of the HTML WG, providing the IP provenance  
> question is settled in detail (I just haven’t done the work or  
> looked at the list of names in the WHATWG – Ian told me it was  
> covered, so I don’t think it’s hard), and especially provided that  
> any feature or section being in that spec does not predispose it to  
> being approved by the WG, or predisposes it to not be changed.   
> There are sections in this spec that are not (IMO) covered by our  
> charter; there are also sections that I disagree with as Microsoft  
> representative.  Regardless, my comment to Dan was that I thought  
> it would be disservice if we were not to make use of the work of  
> the WHATWG if we can.  I do feel very strongly, though, that if we  
> are taking this as a source material for HTML in the HTML WG, then  
> we must own the spec thereafter – this equates to take a drop from  
> the WHATWG, and moving it into the W3C’s domain.
Sounds great. If there is common editorship, I think publishing the  
same document on both domains going forward might be workable so long  
as the editor(s) agree to abide by HTML WG group decisions. Would you  
be ok with that?

> 2)  As both a co-chair and as a Microsoft representative, I believe  
> my response to the ask that the HTML WG specification be called  
> HTML 5 was “well, duh.”  That is, of course.  Or, if you like, I  
> have no strong opinion, but would expect people would expect math  
> to come in to play.
Cool. I agree this is no big deal, but it's nice to make it official.
> 3)  As a co-chair of this Working Group, I feel strongly that it  
> would be a disservice to the integrity and openness of the spec to  
> have a single editor (and I would point out that HTML 4.01 had  
> three editors, and CSS 2.1 has four) - it sets up a dictatorship,  
> benevolent though it might seem.  I additionally have a severe  
> concern with the proposed mode of working that Ian has espoused [1]  
> - that, in short, the HTML WG is just another source of input into  
> the specification.  In my opinion, the HTML WG owns their own  
> specification.  Multiple editors would help eliminate that problem.
> I have tremendous respect for Ian Hickson.  That may sound hollow,  
> but it's actually quite true - I can respect his viewpoints,  
> because though I think he's overly idealistic, he has always proven  
> to be principled, though I may on occasion disagree with those  
> principles.  That is irrelevant.  I am not convinced that any  
> single editor with any significant views on the issues can do a  
> good job at being the sole owner of the spec.  The only times I've  
> seen a sole editor for hotly-debated specifications work well has  
> been when the editor is completely impassive, and simply a writer.   
> That is not Ian, in my opinion, and I would be a bit surprised if  
> he said he has no opinions on what goes in to the spec.  That is  
> not “Ian doesn’t try to represent all viewpoints,” it’s “it is  
> impossible to be completely equitable when you care about the  
> issues.”  I would be delighted, in any case, for Ian to be one of  
> the editors of the HTML spec – indeed, I think it will be quite  
> difficult if he is not.
> As a Microsoft representative, I would object to having Ian as  
> single editor as he is an employee of one of our largest  
> competitors, and has not shown what I feel is due diligence to  
> trying to understand our perspective.  That’s about 1/100000th as  
> important to me as the benevolent dictator problem.
> As for selection of any potential co-editors, as co-chair and as  
> Microsoft rep I have given no input or direction to Dan on  
> potential co-editors, i.e. I have not asked anyone to be an editor  
> nor suggested any names, other than to say the following to Dan in  
> email re: lack of good candidates for editorship: "(I will resign  
> as co-chair if necessary to supply one.)"  (No, impassive writer is  
> not me either.  That is not my preferred role, but at least it  
> would provide counterpoint.)  Dan failed to reply to that at all,  
> which I would expect, as I don’t think either one of us wants to be  
> sole chair, and frankly I don’t particularly want to be an editor  
> either.
Great, thanks for stating your objections clearly.


Received on Friday, 20 April 2007 05:50:32 UTC