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Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 11:14:44 +1200
Message-ID: <11e306600907051614x2c41958bsae495f4a4939ff3e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 9:38 PM, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
>
> Why is private feedback so important that it's worth the loss of
> > transparency, the loss of accountability, and the loss of public
> > analysis?
>
> It's not, and there hasn't been any such loss, at least for HTML5.
>
> However, that doesn't mean private feedback doesn't have its place. You
> and I have had lunch together privately in the past, had private IRC
> conversations, and had hallway conversations, all of which have included
> feedback about HTML5 issues that you might have phrased differently, or
> not at all, in a public setting.
>
> Does that mean that I've made decisions based exclusively on your input
> off-list? No, of course not. Have those conversations influenced the
> decision-making process or even the framing of certain discussions? Of
> course.
>
> For example, if I talk with you about some possible design, and you point
> out a massive security flaw in that design, then I won't even bother
> suggesting that design to the list. Is that taking into account private
> feedback? Yes. Is it a problem? No.
>

Feedback delivered through private channels is not a problem, as long as it
can be repeated in public. The problem is
with feedback that comes with confidentiality strings attached, because in
that case public scrutiny is permanently disabled.

If I ask you for a change in the spec, but I forbid you to reveal the reason
for the change, then you should reject it. If I forbid you to reveal my
identity, then my identity should be given no weight (so feedback that
depends on my identity, e.g. saying "I won't implement this", should be
ignored).

If I privately point out a flaw in your design, then if someone else
proposes that design you need to be able to tell them about the flaw. If the
design was already in the spec and you remove it or change it, you need to
be able to explain the flaw if anyone asks you why. If you think removing or
changing the design would be controversial or impact authors or
implementors, I hope you'd actually announce the change and the reason ---
as you normally seem to do.

If the only impact of the feedback is early termination or alteration of
your own ideas, before they even appear in public, then that's fine. Your
thoughts are your own, public scrutiny is only required for changes to
public artifacts.

Rob
-- 
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
53:5-6]
Received on Sunday, 5 July 2009 23:15:19 UTC

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