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RE: Formal Objection to One vendor, One Veto

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 23:21:35 +0000
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <61027177C88032458A7862054B3C625803E358CA@TK5EX14MBXW651.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
Shelley Powers [mailto:shelleyp@burningbird.net] wrote:
>>> I've never seen Microsoft reluctant to ignore specifications in the
>>> past, so the situation you describe is not new...
>> Let's not mud-sling.
>I was not indulging in mud slinging. I stated what I perceived to be

Okay.  I'll hold up IE8's work in CSS2.1 as a distinct reluctance to ignore the specification; we did a ton of work to improve the spec and the test suite, and explicitly did not ignore holes in the spec when we embarked on doing a high-quality implementation of the spec.  Obviously, at many points it would have been much easier to ignore the spec.

>And the reality is, that people have a way of working around gaps in
>coverage. I think making a formal decision in HTML 5 because of what one
>or two vendors' decide, does not leave the door open to innovation, and
>eventual progress.

I wouldn't say Apple (or Microsoft, or Nokia, or...) "decided".  I would say that innovation needs have one foot in the door of reality.  Perhaps only one foot, but at least that.

>I would be disappointed if HTML 5 did little more than document today's

Indeed, as would I.  But that doesn't mean that we should simply innovate in the specification without regard to what vendors can or will actually be able to implement.

>I can understand vendors keeping quiet about their proprietary
>innovations, but I have a difficult time with browser vendors being
>reluctant to make simple assertions of adherence to open standards.

Indeed, and it is frustrating to me when that is read as a lack of commitment to open standards.  At the same time, I've been through the cycle of shipping a browser many many times, and I'm well aware of the dangers of overpromising.

>I would think that providing a roadmap for open standards compliance to
>be not only useful, but essential.  To keep people guessing, is the same
>as acting, deliberately, to undermine the standards. In my opinion, it
>is unconscionable.

I disagree with your statement equating the lack of a roadmap for "open standards compliance" with deliberately undermining standards.  When are the other browsers going to pass the CSS 2.1 test suite, then?  To my knowledge, only Mozilla really has what one could term a public roadmap, and it's pretty malleable.  (Good stuff IMO, you understand - but they realize, I expect, that they need to be able to change plans, and they probably take a fair bit of heat for it when they do.)

Stepping back from that, though, I think you're pointing out the lack of trust that Microsoft has that they will appropriately focus on complying with standards.  I don't have any better answer to that than that the IE team has been focused on improving their standards support for the past couple of releases, and I would expect them to continue to step that up or they will pay the price.  But public roadmap vs. not isn't my call.

>>>> That hasn't changed either, and I do not expect Microsoft to suddenly object to an XML syntax for HTML.
>>> So, Microsoft is committed to supporting XHTML? Cool, good to know.
>But this discussion does demonstrate a problem: you're giving your
>opinion, that you don't think Microsoft will file a protest about an XML
>serialization of HTML, but no one at Microsoft will provide anything
>specific about IE support for XHTML. So we don't know if there will
>continue to be a gap in XHTML support in the future, or not.

That's not the question you asked, though.  If you had asked "so will Microsoft will be adding support for XHTML in IE.Next then?" I would have answered with some variant of "I can't answer that question," because I can't in good conscience answer it.  (For one, because I don't know the answer with any high degree of confidence; I'm not on that team anymore. :) )

>So why do we leave XHTML in HTML 5, but change the
>text associated with video?

Video is a new requirement (and a new feature) since HTML4.01/XHTML1.1.  The idea of capturing HTML in an XML schema is not new.  We added the video feature; some of us objected to adding a requirement along with that that we implement a previously-unimplemented chunk of code in a known IP-heavy area.

>> I don't support making copies of HTML5 and letting them duke it out;
>>I do support people making explicit proposals for what they'd like to
>>see.  I may still disagree with those proposals, of course (e.g. I
>>disagree with Rob Sayre's proposal to require Ogg codecs).
>This doesn't necessarily agree with what Sam has proposed. But I may
>have misinterpreted Sam.

Maybe (I won't speak for Sam there), but Sam and I aren't required to agree - just to work it out between us.  :)


Received on Thursday, 16 July 2009 23:26:11 UTC

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