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Re: Why Design Principles?

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 16:39:05 -0700
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <2991188E-3CC2-48AC-BD88-7F21061DC3E9@apple.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>

On Jun 2, 2009, at 4:00 PM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak On 09-06-02 23.54:
>> On Jun 1, 2009, at 8:11 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>> 1. == Where did the Design Principles document come from? ==
>>> Many of the core ideas in the Design Principles date back to the  
>>> 2004 W3C Workshop on Web Applications and Compound Documents[2]  
>>> and the schism that arose there. The W3C decided that the future  
>>> of the Web was a new Webbased on XML + XHTML + SMIL + SVG + XForms  
>>> + CDF. Some dissenters, chiefly but not exclusively browser  
>>> vendors, felt that the right path forward was incremental  
>>> evolution on top of HTML + CSS + JS + DOM. This was based on  
>>> concerns over continuity, compatibility and so forth. Some of the  
>>> dissenters formed the WHATWG to carry on its vision.
>>> While HTML5 (under the name "Web Apps 1.0" and "Web Forms 2.0")  
>>> was under development in the WHATWG, the principles guiding its  
>>> design were not explicitly called out or referred to. The main  
>>> participants tended to share values, and the unofficial nature of  
>>> the organization tended to attract those who were mostly like- 
>>> minded.
>>> In 2007, the W3C decided to return to work on HTML. The HTML  
>>> Working Group was formed. In the early days, there was much  
>>> bickering over basics. Clearly there was a lack of common vision  
>>> and shared understanding between groups. Since WHATWG brought a  
>>> fairly advanced proposal to the table, some of us who'd followed  
>>> WHATWG goings-on more closely felt that it would be good to  
>>> explicitly write down what we thought were the guiding principles,  
>>> the better to communicate in these early discussions. The first  
>>> version of the document was started on the Wiki by me, but had  
>>> contributions from many others.
>>> In early 2007, I suggested that the Design Principles be adopted  
>>> by the group, and noted that some others thought they should be  
>>> published as a W3C Note.[3] This resulted in two surveys, one to  
>>> assess the level of agreement[5] and one on publishing as a  
>>> Working Draft[4]. These surveys found support for publishing and  
>>> also widespread (though not universal) support for the individual  
>>> principles.
>>> This is part of the reason the front matter is worded as it is.  
>>> There was > 90% agreement on the substance of almost every  
>>> principle, so it seemed like a fairly strong statement of  
>>> agreement was appropriate.  [...]
>> Ian and Anne both suggested that I should add most of this  
>> justification to the Design Principles document itself. I will  
>> likely replace the current abstract and introduction with something  
>> based on this email. I suggest that those with an interest in the  
>> Design Principles should voice their objections to this plan.
> I object.
> If you want to document how onesided and rooted in the WHATwg  
> reality - aka "invented there" - the principles you have been  
> authoring are, then please go on.

I have no problem with being honest about the origin of the  
principles, or the reaction to them by the HTML WG. I think everything  
I said above is accurate, and reasonably neutral in tone.

> I would suggest to have _less_ introduction than in the 2007  
> version. As little as possible.

I'm starting to get the impression you'll just disagree with anything  
I propose, even if that means reversals of your prior positions. That  
makes it hard to take your feedback into account.

Received on Tuesday, 2 June 2009 23:40:13 UTC

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