W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > November 2007

A bit of electioneering on the <canvas> charter issue

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2007 16:58:33 -0800
Message-Id: <BE41CC17-04AD-468A-8998-E46577E623B4@apple.com>
To: "public-html@w3.org Tracking WG" <public-html@w3.org>

It may be unclear to some why modifying the charter to more explicitly  
include immediate-mode graphics is a bad idea. After all, all other  
things being equal, it is better for the charter to be more clear.  
Unfortunately, other things are not equal. Making any change to the  
charter is a risky process.

So, by way of persuasion, I am reposting my survey comments here, to  
clarify why I think it is both unnecessary and a bad idea to change  
the charter.


1) It is unneccessary - this is already covered by the following  
charter requirements:

- "A language evolved from HTML4 for describing the semantics of  
documents and applications on the World Wide Web." -- Applications  
frequently use graphics drawing areas.

- "Document Object Model (DOM) interfaces providing APIs for such a  
language." -- An immediate-mode graphics API is a critical aspect of  
an element that represents the semantics of an application drawing area.

- "Forms and common UI widgets such as progress bars, datagrids,  
menus, and other controls." -- Most UI widget toolkits (including, to  
my knowledge, Cocoa, Carbon, Win32, WPF, Gtk+, Qt, WxWidgets, Tk)  
provide an immediate-mode custom drawing widget.

- "APIs for the manipulation of linked media." -- The canvas API  
provides for basic manipulation of linked images using drawImage().

- "Editing APIs and user-driven WYSIWYG editing features." -- The  
canvas API provides for interactive user editing of bitmap images,  
both creation of whole new images and interactive adjustment  
(cropping, rotation, filter effects, color adjustment, etc) of  
existing linked images.

2) Modifying the charter carries high risk. The rechartering process  
can take a long time, and can change the charter in arbitrary ways.

- The original HTML WG charter process took at least 6 months, maybe  
more since much of it was invisible to the outside world.

- Many changes were made to the charter between circulated drafts,  
with no explanation. The final published charter did not match  
anything that anyone outside the W3C team had ever seen (indeed, that  
is part of the source of the confusion over canvas).

So our group could be under a cloud of uncertainty for many months. We  
should avoid taking unnecessary risks.

3) It sets a bad precedent. We should interpret the charter as  
covering all reasonable application and document features. Otherwise,  
we will have to recharter every time someone realizes we are missing  
important functionality that doesn't already have a detailed line item  
in the charter.

Received on Monday, 19 November 2007 00:58:48 UTC

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