some thoughts on objections to publishing ""HTML 5 differences from HTML 4"

I note some objections to my proposal to publish the
differences document.

First, a "No, disagree" response says

"Rationale based on design principles, for each and every
dropped/added/changed element and attribute should be supplied."

Well, perhaps it should. By all means, please do provide it.
But until you do, to argue against publication because it hasn't been
provided isn't helpful. Karl, Anne, you might add a note
in the status section that more rationale is under discussion.

I am quite sympathetic to...

"In order to apply consistent decision making throughout the
specification, it is critical to come to consensus on the design

By all means, please contribute to the design principles text(s).
But I don't understand this as an argument against publishing
the difference document.

Another response goes further and formally objects:

"it is unconscionable that the HTML WG should release a vastly different
draft in toto without first outlining and cementing our design

Various people have outlined design principles, and I am doing
what I can to cement them (with a W3C staff position* still
not filled and my co-chair on holiday). You're welcome to help.
But objecting to publication of the differences document isn't helpful.

By the way, Gregory, the rest of that rationale goes well beyond the
bounds of civility. I'm likely to dismiss that objection
altogether unless you edit it.

Another objection goes a little further...

"As per the Formal Objection Guidelines[2]I propose that the "HTML 5
differences from HTML 4" document be modified to clearly indicate the
rationales for dropping the attributes in question and their status as
being open issues, both in "1.1. Open Issues" and in "3.6. Dropped
Attributes" section."

But I don't see any suggested text for the proposed rationale.

"1) Approximately five times as many respondents favoured publishing the
design principles first as favoured publishing "HTML 5 differences from
HTML 4"; given the W3C's position on consensus, it is clear that the
first document to be agreed and published should be one outlining the
design principles on which HTML 5 is to be based."

That survey was a way for the chair(s) to collect advice about
timing; it's not a technical issue. the W3C consensus policy is about
technical design choices.

I understand you disagree with my choice as chair about
timing and priorities, and I will of course report your objection
to The Director when we get to that point in the process
some months from now, but it will not likely be relevant by then.

A more relevant escalation path for non-technical matters such
as this is to escalate to W3C management. Chris Lilley is the
Domain Lead of the Interaction Domain, which this WG is part of.
He reports to Steve Bratt and Tim Berners-Lee.

"2) It will not be possible to publish anything on "HTML 5 differences
from HTML 4" until a specification for HTML 5 has been agreed. At the
moment, the specification represents the beliefs of, and consensus
amongst, the WHAT WG rather than this group."

I can't make sense of the "not possible" sentence. While it would
be nice to have consensus, the chairs of this working group
are (a) obliged to meet the heartbeat requirement** and
(b) authorized to proceed without consensus, after considering
all objections.


Dan Connolly, W3C

Received on Friday, 29 June 2007 17:41:31 UTC