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Re: Who is the Intended Audience of the Markup Spec Proposal?

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 15:28:53 -0800
Cc: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <C6B2E0ED-984D-4981-B811-05B20215AEF9@apple.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>

On Jan 26, 2009, at 7:47 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> On Jan 26, 2009, at 4:40 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> I'd like very much to lift that moratorium, but apparently Chris  
>>> has been tied up in some sort of release :-).  I'd prefer not to  
>>> unilaterally lift this without his concurrence.  I'm sure that  
>>> this will be resolved shortly.
>>> But meanwhile, this discussion is very public, as are the rules  
>>> for publishing a FPWD:
>>> http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html#first-wd
>>> I've provided that link several times.  Section 7.4.1 is fairly  
>>> short. My read of that section is that lifting of the moratorium  
>>> should not be considered in any way a prerequisite for this  
>>> decision, but I would like to see the moratorium lifted anyway,  
>>> making the point moot.
>>> Meanwhile, I'd appreciate Ian answering the questions I asked.
> I'll note that Ian did, in fact, answer the questions I asked.  I  
> commend Ian for his leadership, not only in how he answered this  
> question, but also in, well, pretty much everything he has done.  I  
> think more people could do well by following his example.
>> If we had consensus or a charter requirement to put this document  
>> on the REC track at all, then I would agree that publishing as an  
>> FPWD does not require full consensus on all the details.
> Here is the current charter:
> http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter#deliverables
> In your opinion does "HTML 5, A vocabulary and associated APIs for  
> HTML and XHTML" strictly limit itself to this charter?  Does it  
> implement everything in that charter?
> I think the only reasonable answer to both questions are no and no.

Controversy over the scope of the document is part of the reason we  
had a formal vote as to whether to publish FPWD. Here are the results  
of that vote:


Here is the vote we held to publish an updated Working Draft:


> And yet, I also think it would be counter productive to block  
> progress on Ian's document.

I recall that when the survey above was first posted, IBM (as  
represented by you) initially voted against publication, but later  
retracted its vote.

>> However, whether this document should be placed on the  
>> Recommendation track is exactly the point in contention, and  
>> exactly the point we have been asked not to discuss for the past  
>> few months. Note that the rules you cited are part of a section  
>> titled "7.4 Advancing a Technical Report to Recommendation", which  
>> starts by saying "In general, Working Groups embark on this journey  
>> with the intent of publishing one or more Recommendations." I do  
>> not agree that we can put a document on the REC track in the first  
>> place, without meaningful discussion, let alone consensus.  
>> Certainly it is possible for the REC track process to be stopped  
>> early, as outlined in Section 7.5, but I do not think that  
>> possibility means that starting down the REC track in the first  
>> place is something to be taken lightly.
> I am leery of going down that path.

What path? Taking the FPWD transition seriously? That's something we  
have always done in the past, and something that IBM in particular was  
insistent on formalizing due to the patent implications.

> I personally would prefer the Work Group spends its time discussing  
> actual tangible proposals.  And to provide everybody equal  
> opportunity to produce such proposals.

I think anyone is free to make a proposal, but that doesn't mean we  
should publish every proposal as a Working Draft.

> Ian's document is an example of a document which does not enjoy  
> consensus and is pursuing an objective that is neither a proper  
> subset nor a proper superset of the charter requirements.  And yet  
> despite these "failings" it is the most coherent and complete  
> proposal that the Work Group has in front of us to date.

The Working Group also voted overwhelmingly to adopt the document and  
then to publish it as FPWD. Thus, even if there is not 100% consensus,  
there is widespread agreement, and a sufficient formal record that we  
can move on.

I think this process for deciding on FPWD publication worked fine in  
the past, other than perhaps being too slow the first time around (it  
took months to call for a vote, and quite some time to actually  
publish even after the results were clear). Thereafter, we've handled  
such votes in a fairly expeditious way. I do think the FWPD transition  
is a serious matter, and we should not toss out just anything as FPWD  
without due consideration.

> I believe that if this working group were run in a way that  
> encouraged people to produce coherent and complete proposals  
> (something that is comparatively hard to do) as opposed to  
> preemptively raising issues (something that is comparatively easy to  
> do), the end work product of group would be markedly superior.
> I submit the following for further reading:
> http://bitworking.org/news/Camera_Ready_Copy_and_the_Social_Denial_of_Service_Attack
>> I will further note that, in this case, publishing as a WD is not  
>> required to have meaningful public review. The Editor's Draft is  
>> already available to the general public, and we can publicize it as  
>> much as we want, or freeze a specific version for review, without  
>> any formal process. Thus, I do not think resolving the root issues  
>> here will block substantive review.
> As near as I can tell, heartbeat requirements and the process for  
> FPWD is based on the notion that public working drafts get the  
> benefit of greater scrutiny and review.
> In any case, it is quite evident that you have taken the time to  
> read the process as it relates to this activity.  I commend you for  
> doing so.  Much of the prior discussion does not show that even this  
> much effort has been expended.

I have also read the proposed draft itself, but am holding off on  
deeper substantive discussion.

Received on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 23:29:35 UTC

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