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Progressive Implementation Report (was: Public Understanding of the Timeframe of HTMl 5 Development)

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 22:45:52 -0500
Message-ID: <476C8870.5090809@w3.org>
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Hi, Folks-

Dan's proposed schedule seems reasonable to me.

But in addition to the W3C timeline, there are likely to be 
implementations of particular features well in advance.  This is not 
unique to this specification, but I suspect it will be a bit more 
extreme than for other specs.

This would be good information for both developers and for the HTML 
Working Group itself to have.  For authors, knowing what is implemented 
where gives them a good idea of what they can target; for developers of 
script libraries, this can let them know where to concentrate their 
compensatory efforts; for the HTML WG, knowing what implementors intend 
to work on can inform the WG on where they should prioritize, and know 
where to put their attention.

Given that certain parts of the HTML5 spec are expected to be fairly 
stable, we can assume that those sections will be implemented first. 
Browser vendors may assume that something is stable, when it hasn't yet 
gotten thorough review by the WG, so it would be good for each vendor to 
come forward with their plans to implement a feature, to open the doors 
for discussion.  This will result in better interoperability (because a 
feature might change in the spec, and premature implementation may 
hamper the browser or the spec itself), and in more robust features. 
Properly managed, these discussions won't significantly slow down the 
spec or the implementors, and may even save time.

I propose a progressive implementation report, which shows not only 
which browser implements which features, but what the priorities and 
timeline for each browser are.  For such a protracted process as 
rebuilding HTML from the ground up, this is indispensable for the 
stability of the authoring development environment.

Normally, a test suite and accompanying implementation report are 
designed and intended not to reveal the current interoperability 
landscape, but merely to prove the implementability of the featureset of 
the spec.  But I think in this case, we should take that a step further, 
for the benefit of all parties.

I understand that some companies may not wish to reveal their 
implementation plans for any number of reasons.  I ask those companies 
to reexamine the costs and benefits of being more public in this 
instance, at least for specific features; if you find it still doesn't 
make sense for you, then so be it, but if the majority of browsers 
participate in this, then it will still be useful.  Even without browser 
participation, maintaining an active implementation report will be a 
great resource for developers and authors.

Please note that I'm speaking completely for myself here, not for W3C; 
sling arrows my way, not at my employer.

-Doug Schepers

Dan Connolly wrote (on 12/21/07 10:13 AM):
> On Fri, 2007-12-14 at 11:49 -0800, Dan Connolly wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> > ... I would estimate that we can reach LC around October 2009.
>> OK, thanks; I'll mull that over...
> I mulled it over and updated the WG schedule as follows:
> [[
>      1. 2007-05 HTML5 and Web Forms 2.0 specs adopted as basis for
>         review
>      2. 2007-11 HTML Design Principles First Public Working Draft
>      3. 2008-02 HTML5 First Public Working Draft
>      4. 2009-03* HTML5 Last Call Working Draft 
>         * editor's estimate is 2009-10
>      5. 2009-06 HTML5 Candidate Recommendation
>      6. 2010-06 HTML5 Proposed Recommendation
>      7. 2010-09 HTML5 Recommendation
> Note: The future dates in the above list are estimates based on the
> schedule in the charter and are subject to change.
> ]]
>  -- http://www.w3.org/html/wg/#sched
>  $Revision: 1.126 $ of $Date: 2007/12/21 15:10:18 $

Received on Saturday, 22 December 2007 06:27:43 UTC

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