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Re: Forms Task Force Charter Requirement

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 13:47:51 -0700
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, public-html-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF7F98CF32.96875408-ON882572D0.007033CE-882572D0.00723F53@ca.ibm.com>

It sounds like you want to read just enough words to substantiate your own 
point of view to the exclusion of any possibility for compromise and in 
spite of any other reasonable interpretation of the words.

The forms group seems to be bending over backwards in compromise, such as 
saying "sure if you want to put those data model attributes right into the 
presentation layer, go ahead, as long as there is at least a clear and 
easy path to migrate up to greater sophistication without having to throw 
out the form asset and start over..."

Sure would be nice if, in kind, you could accept the fact that the forms 
problem became a big issue and so the main author of the charters wrote 
both together and fully expressed what needed to happen with them. 

The HTML WG charter says that "The HTML WG and the Forms Working Group 
will work together..." on something.  Are you telling me that you find it 
unreasonable to actually go to the forms WG charter and read its mission 
and its first paragraph to find out about this "work together" thing?

The mission says " the forms WG is to develop specifications to cover 
forms on the web.  Is that not plain?

The last sentence of that first paragraph says "Documents using the tag 
soup serialziation of the new HTML are expected to be converted to the 
*equivalent XML serialization*". 

The vision document published with the two charters works even harder to 
make this clear: "The charter calls for two equivalent serialization to be 
developed, corresponding to a single DOM".  Dan quotes from this document 
in http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0280.html

How much plainer do we have to get that we are to build one tag set?

Basically, the language about 'architectural consistency' is supposed to 
allow the flexibility needed for variations that will undoubtedly arise 
because of tag soup quirks and because of interactions between form things 
and html-specific things that the forward-thinking charter author would be 
reasonable to assume might occur.  A good example would be the desire for 
html to define its own UI controls, which is fine because it does not 
significantly alter the UI binding architecture.

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

Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> 
Sent by: public-html-request@w3.org
05/03/2007 01:10 PM

"public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Forms Task Force Charter Requirement

There has been some dispute of what our charter goals to work with 
the Forms Task Force mean exactly.

Here's the text (from <http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG- 

"The HTML WG and the Forms Working Group will work together in this 
Task Force to ensure that the new HTML forms and the new XForms 
Transitional have architectural consistency and that document authors 
can transition between them."

Here's the conclusions I draw from this:

- HTML forms and XForms transitional are not necessarily the same 
language; it makes no sense to call for architectural consistency 
between two things that are actually the same thing.
- The requirement is for architectural consistency, not syntactic or 
API-level consistency.
- The Forms Task Force is charged with ensuring architectural 
consistency, not necessarily writing any particular spec.
- The requirement technically says HTML forms have to be 
architecturally consistent with XForms Transitional, and doesn't say 
anything at all about XForms proper. I'm willing to chalk this up to 
a drafting error and assuming it actually meant XForms if others 
agree this was a mistake.

So, if we have two languages, two working groups, a task force, and a 
consistency mandate, how do we divide responsibilities? Here's how I 
would implement this in practice:

- HTML Working Group continues defining HTML Forms.
- Forms Working Group continues defining XForms.
- Forms Task Force drafts a set of concrete requirements for 
architectural consistency. They closely review both new versions of 
XForms and new versions of HTML with respect to these requirements; 
HTML WG and Forms WG will take resulting feedback into account.

I think this would invalidate any Formal Objection to the HTML 
Working Group adopting particular text as a basis for review. We 
would remain obligated to participate in the Forms Task Force, refine 
the architectural consistency requirements, and revise our spec to 
satisfy them.

Others have interpreted our charter language to mean that the Forms 
part of the next HTML spec is to be written by the Forms Task Force 
as a merge of HTML forms features and XForms. I do not think that is 
a reasonable way to interpret the plain language of the charter.

Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 20:47:58 UTC

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