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Re: Publishing a new draft (HTML5+RDFa)

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 18:49:46 -0400
Message-ID: <4A72238A.607@intertwingly.net>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
CC: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> Sam Ruby On 09-07-30 21.27:
>> Ben Adida wrote:
>>> Sam Ruby wrote:
>>>> I have stated that the WHATWG (note: WHATWG, not HTML WG) is operating
>>>> under a CTR process.
>>> I *was* talking about the HTML WG, and so were you when this discussion
>>> was initially brought up:
>>> "For better or worse, the HTML WG is operating under a CTR process."
>>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009May/0063.html
>> I mispoke.
> When? I think you were just as clear in May that we work under CTR, as 
> you are clear today that we are not.

In May I introduced the concept of CTR to the W3C, and tried to use it 
exclusively to describe the way that WHATWG (not the HTML WG as a whole) 
was operating.  I initially did that in a clumsy way (which Ben has 
pointed out), but within a few days I attempted to straighten it out.  See:


I apologize for the confusion.

> I doubt that I am alone in perceiving the branch/fork "lottery" as a 
> consequence of the CTR process.

For more historical context, I refer you to:


In a nutshell, the WHATWG existed prior to the HTML WG.  On one hand, 
should the HTML WG fold or otherwise fail to execute on its mission, the 
WHATWG would in all likelihood continue its efforts.  On the other hand, 
it is but one potential source of proposals that the HTML WG can 
consider.  I am totally committed to that proposition.

That being said, I reject any notion that any failure of people outside 
of the WHATWG to produce a coherent proposal is somehow a failure of the 
WHATWG in general or Ian in particular.  In particular, if Mike's draft 
and Manu's draft are not yet ready, it is not somehow because they are 
either more (or less) equal that Ian's, and certainly is not a reason to 
block forward progress of Ian's draft.

I any member of the working group believe that now is the time to 
"switch branches", then please propose exactly that.

> As for the heartbeat requirement, in line with the perception you have 
> created that we work under CTR (and may be you will once again confirm 
> that we are?), now that the forks you have asked for finally have 
> appeared (and Mike's wasn't in my view recognized as a branch/fork in 
> this sense until recently - or else it could have been published as such 
> _long_ ago), it does not make sense to give priority to heartbeat. 
> Instead, it would make sense to finally take the consequence of the 
> branch/fork call. (Heck, you have so many times spoken in the tone of 
> "produce a draft or take the consequences = Ian's text".)

Fork is clearly a loaded term.  Manu has made it clear he did not want 
his work to be perceived as a fork.  Mike's work doesn't have a common 
ancestor with any point in time with Ian's draft, so it too is not a 
traditional fork.

An incomplete/out of date history of important HTML 5 decisions appear 
at the bottom of this page: http://www.w3.org/html/wg/

That list is incomplete (and in fact, only includes decisions that 
predate my involvement as a co-chair), but is sufficient for this 
discussion.  In particular, I will draw your attention to:


"we welcome Ian Hickson and Dave Hyatt as editors (while remaining open 
to the possibility of other editors in the future)."

I have, and do, encourage people to work with these editors.  I have, 
and do, encourage people who have found that approach to be a dead end 
to not give up and actually produce concrete spec text.  In the long 
run, it is my hope that what the W3C will publish will constitute 
leadership that people will willingly follow.

In at least two cases (declaring what Google, Yahoo!, CC and others are 
doing with RDFa as non-conforming, and declaring what JAWS and other 
tools support with the summary attribute as obsolete) I see areas where 
I believe that intelligent people can reasonably disagree.  I will 
further note that in both cases, there is no disagreement over what the 
browser (and in particular, parser) behavior is or should be, what is in 
dispute is author conformance requirements.

But I digress.  I have every respect for Mike and Manu.  Both have 
produced concrete proposals.  However, neither proposal has been 
submitted for consideration by the working group.  I do not see that as 
an optional step that can be sidestepped.

Meanwhile, the Working Group is within its rights to decline to approve 
the publication of a working draft that contains micro-data, or to 
insist that RDFa be included or that micro-data (or the recent change to 
summary) be explicitly marked.

However, absolutely nobody has step forwarded and requested that any of 
these be done.

Instead, individuals use rhetoric like "lottery".  That I have little 
tolerance for.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Thursday, 30 July 2009 22:51:05 UTC

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