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Re: ISSUE-76: Need feedback on splitting Microdata into separate

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 19:20:52 -0800
Cc: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C0585A73-C8EC-4EAC-BEBA-583E4B351A8C@gbiv.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
On Dec 10, 2009, at 9:17 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> The current work on Microdata has not had wide support within this 
>> group. And perhaps even less outside this group. I can't see that this 
>> could worsen by being moved into another spec. And hence, Tab's premise 
>> is wrong.
> That's a complete non-sequitur. Tab's premise, and indeed Conway's law in 
> general, has nothing to do with how much support something has. It has to 
> do with technical design.

Good grief!  The premise would therefore be that nothing
should ever be split because designs entirely accomplished
by a single individual are inherently better than designs
governed or supplied by a group.  That may often be true,
depending on the skills of the designer, but is hardly
relevant once the design is submitted to a standardization
body that is supposed to be representative of all WWW


Conway's law doesn't say that organizations should be avoided
while doing technical design.  It is an observation on the
sociology of design and the nature of organizations.  The only
rational way to apply it to HTML5 is to note that the current
specification matches the design of a single person within the
echo chamber of a self-selected group of browser vendors, and
that the WG is going to keep butting heads (fail to communicate)
on these issues until we change it to a less monolithic design
that will make better progress toward working group acceptance
for standardization as HTML.

In other words, Conway's law is more an argument for splitting
Microdata into a separate specification, since then its design
structure can mirror the small subset of folks that actually
care about its design, and the rest of HTML5 can be focused
on by the wider group.

Received on Friday, 11 December 2009 03:21:33 UTC

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