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Re: help navigating your HTML spec text objection?

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 12:40:22 -0700
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org, public-html-request@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF6FBC3E26.207A603E-ON882572D0.006467AE-882572D0.006C1164@ca.ibm.com>
Hi Dan,

Thanks for considering my point of view.  I believe that considering the 
question somewhat differently is worthwhile and that I did provide a 
statement of what could change to assuage my objection to the first 

Indeed I think it would be very useful to test the waters of the "spirit 
of the charters" to see how much formal objection would result from the 
change I suggested, but I've seen enough willingness to collaborate in the 
past two days that it now seems an impasse is not the most likely outcome.

Regarding question 1,  what I requested is that the question be amended to 
ask: "Shall we adopt HTML5, WF2 and XForms as our bases for review?"

That's it.  The follow-on material is already clear enough that using 
these documents as *the* basis for review does not constitute endorsement 
of the entire feature set...

The question as worded appears to cut out consideration of XForms from the 
review process.  Since the authors of WF2 have already indicated that they 
considered XForms when creating WF2, this adjustment should not produce 

The adjustment I am requesting also makes clear that considering documents 
as the basis for review really does not mean using them for review as 
opposed to using them as *the* starting documents.  The latter approach 
creates the problem of preempting agreement on the architectural design 
requirements that led to the documents.

In particular, XForms and WF2 optimize for different requirements, and 
coming to consensus on some of those requirements will potentially have 
significant effects on some of the technical approaches taken (i.e. the 
tag set that results).  I intend to elaborate on at least one such pair of 
tehnical requirements in a response to another mail on this list, but I 
think that technical discussion only serves to reify the possibilities 
that I have claimed are being preempted by not including XForms in the 
list of documents to be used as the basis for review.

Regarding question 3, I do not believe that I objected to Ian Hickson nor 
Dave Hyatt being editors of HTML5. 

First, despite my own mark of concurrence on question 2, observe that 
question 3 presupposes consensus on question 2.

More importantly, the wording of the question implies that we are 
selecting *the* editors, as opposed to selecting editors.

I believe that my objection reflects only a desire to reword the question 
so that a further editor of the forms component can be appointed at a 
later time without formal objections arising in the future based on this 
questionnaire having already appointed the editors.

It should be easy to reword the question, or rather to ask two questions:
"Should Ian Hickson be an editor of the next generation HTML 
"Should Dave Hyatt be an editor of the next generation HTML 

Ideally, you would also ask a third question along the lines of 
"Should a Forms working group member be an editor of the forms component 
of the next generation HTML specification?"

This in turn might lead to a questionnaire on whether the new HTML should 
be delivered as two components. part A presentation and part B forms. Some 
have called for the union, but prior efforts of both the Forms WG and the 
WHAT WG seem to substantiate the claim that there is merit in the 

Finally, with regard to cost, it was unclear why the above might be 
considered costly.  There does not seem to be much cost in actually 
running another questionnaire, nor in respondents answering it as the 
questions are similar.  Yet doing so would hopefully set ensure that the 
responses effectively answer the question of whether the collaborative 
effort on forms requested in our charters is viable and likely to succeed 
in the near term. I think it is, and I think the amended questionnaire 
would demonstrate that it is.

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM: Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer

Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org> 
Sent by: public-html-request@w3.org
05/03/2007 07:09 AM

John Boyer/CanWest/IBM@IBMCA, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Karl 
Dubost <karl@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, www-archive@w3.org, 
Re: help navigating your HTML spec text objection?

[public-html readers, this thread continues from www-archive,
starting with
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2007May/0016.html ]

On Wed, 2007-05-02 at 23:12 -0700, John Boyer wrote:
> My main issue is that I cannot be the task force, nor can I be the
> Forms WG part of the task force.  So I can't do the work of the task
> force in order to justify why the task force needs to do the technical
> work.  The proposal you put to vote was premature ...

I have some sympathy for the point that the question was premature;
some arguments have come to light only after the question was put,
which suggests re-opening the discussion and putting a possibly
amended question at a later date. I suspect that could be quite
costly, so I hope that it doesn't come to that. I hope we
can achieve consensus on this proposal after all...

In http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2007May/0016.html
I wrote:
> > John, your objection includes...
> > "... one of the XForms opponents even asked recently how
> > a particular
> > simple WF2 form would be written in XForms, so the objections
> > are not even based on firm knowledge of XForms but rather
> > on having developed WF2."
> > -- http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/htmlbg/results
> > I'd appreciate a pointer to that message.

And you replied...

> "For the record, how would you do the above in XForms? " 
> in http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/1720.html 

That's a message from Anne. Anne, I was under the impression that
you (among others) were fairly familiar with both XForms and WF2.
If that's not the case, then I'll have to re-think a few things.
I wonder if you could answer your own question.

John's reply continues...

> I spent a number of hours on the IRC today with hixie, maciej, anne
> and the crew. ...

Sounds like that was quite productive.

> Maciej complained today that my "objection" should be ignored because
> it doesn't cite technical reasons.  But that's because the vote is
> not being taken on a technical issue.  It is being taken on a
> process issue (should we preempt the work of the task force), and
> so my answer cited technical issues about the process. 

Indeed, the question is more a question about how we work than
a technical question. Since we currently have 11 HTML WG members
who have indicated interest in participating in the forms task force,
I wonder if you could see this decision as not preempting the
work of the task force, but working in parallel, John.

> [the question] shouldn't have been put to vote just because
> somebody proposed it because the proposal appears to run counter
> to both the statements and intent of the charters by
> preempting the technical work of the task force.
> The only way to reach real compromise is to put everyone on an equal
> footing  by staring with empty document and coming to terms on the
> requirements

In the joint task force on forms, everyone will
be on equal footing.

The question was not put just because somebody proposed it,
but because somebody proposed it and, after discussion, a
critical mass of support to do the work emerged. So while
there is some grounds for re-considering the question in light
of new arguments, it's not clear that the objection comes
with a viable alternative for how we work.

> ... the proposal appears to run counter to both the
> statements and intent of the charters by preempting the technical
> work of the task force.

You and I evidently disagree on whether the proposal is
consistent with our charter. As I said on 11 April:

I take this as advice to the chair about a conflict between
this proposal and our charter. I'm not inclined to see it that way.
The charter says we're to deliver "A language evolved from HTML4"
I consider this to be a proposal to skip from the HTML 4 spec to the
HTML 5 spec in one step.

You're free to argue against this proposal on the grounds that the
step is too big. And I'm interested to learn about alternative
ways to move forward.

But I'm not inclined to see the charter as a compelling argument
against this proposal.
 -- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/0501.html


[...various points elided; see www-archive for John's full message...]
> I hope all of this helps at least clarify why my vote went the way it
> did.  I do sincerely hope that the chairs and/or the director are able
> to find a way to support this objection for now in the interest of
> getting the groups to really work together.

As chair, I see some grounds to support your objection, but it's
difficult to see whether re-considering this question is likely
to result in substantially more consensus.

The Director appoints not only the chairs of this WG, but also
technical participants. So this response is also representative
of the Director's position:
  W3C/Keio (Michael(tm) Smith) yes

Karl, I trust you and Michael have discussed that position.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 19:41:22 UTC

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