Re: ISSUE-19 html5-spec: HTML 5 specification release(s) due Feb 2008

Hash: SHA1 (Ian Hickson) wrote:

>Since we are encouraged to publish sooner rather than later, and since
>there doesn't appear to be any reason for us not to publish immediately

I'm concerned that the video codec issue in particular, along 
with the looming holiday madness, makes this an unfortunate time 
to publish.

The video codec text that included Ogg was the one voted on by 
the WG to “adopt for further discussion”, and it's been 
removed without any obvious consensus in the WG (and, in fact, 
seems to have been quite controversial)[0].

Since some of the main issues surrounding video codecs are legal 
in nature, and the publication of FPWD has relevant legal 
implications, publishing now and with this change will have 
consequences down the road. If nothing else, it invites the 
inversion of the burden of proof in future arguments; since the 
various member's legal teams will do their review based on the 
FPWD, the onus is suddenly on the proponents of Ogg to argue for 
its addition, rather then on the opponents to argue for its removal.

Further, rushed publication close to the holidays is a classic 
no-no (which, I would guess, is a main reason for the W3C 
moratorium). It forces people to either silently assent to 
something they may or may not support without sufficient 
opportunity to make an informed decision, or to object on 
principle (which most people find uncomfortable).

If our heartbeat requirement says we need to publish FPWD by 
2008-02-26 then I would suggest we aim for publication on that 
date and use the time to aggressively address any issues. That 
is, direct the WG to focus on identifying and addressing any 
issues relevant to FPWD to the exclusion of issues that can be 
adressed after FPWD, in order to meet our heartbeat requirement.

If the consensus of the WG in late January is that we are ready 
we might then publish before our requirement, but any date prior 
to 2008-02-01 creates — IMO — the possibility that the 
holidays will affect the WG's ability to make a good decision.

I would encourage the Chairs and Editors to consider well issues 
such as these before rushing through publication of FPWD less 
than a week from Christmas.

[0] — To the point where I considered mirroring Nokia's request
       and asking to have the original text reinstated using much
       the same argument they did.

- -- 
“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep; But I have promises to keep,
  And miles to go before I sleep; And miles to go before I sleep...”

             -- Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

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Received on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 09:39:24 UTC