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Re: Summary attribute: attention and focus

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 14:43:12 -0600
Cc: public-html@w3.org, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9B4BB866-A42B-4938-8B2F-E8FCEC6CC7EC@robburns.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
HI Sam,

I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect debate about substantive  
issues to take place on public-html. In fact this is the place our  
charter directs it to take place.

As for the google piece, many of us are likely already familiar with  
that piece. I don't think it is really relevant to the current thread  
on the 'summary' attribute. It was a very productive discussion which  
has yielded some very valuable prose for the draft as well as some  
other issues for discussion that will help improve the prose even  

The problem with raising the google piece in this context is it comes  
across as a rather offensive attack on good-faith members of the WG  
and would only increases the combative nature of the debate (one that  
was not very combative at all). Also given the concerns some WG  
members have raised about the undue dominance of Google within the WG,  
it might raise further concerns. Google should be involved with the  
development of HTML related standards, but it shouldn't be seen as an  
authority trumping our own procedural documents and charter.

I think when looked at objectively the recent 'summary' attribute  
threads have been an exemplary discussion. If other concurrent threads  
had been equally focussed on  reaching a productive compromise  
solution, there would be corresponding draft wiki prose for that issue  
as well.

Take care,

On Mar 1, 2009, at 11:38 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I have taken up Sam Rubys suggestion:
>> "As for me, what I would most like to see in the next draft is a RFC
>> 2119 compatible definition for table summaries, either in terms of a
>> HTML 4 compatible attribute or in terms of a suitable replacement.
>> Note that I am specifically saying "in a draft".  What I am *not*
>> looking for is a reply to this email on how such a topic might be
>> approached." [1]
>> and taken a stab at a RFC 2119 compatible definition for table  
>> summaries:
>> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTABLE/SummarySpecification
>> If you have positive contributions to make to this definition please
>> add comments to the wiki page in the notes section
>> thanks to gez lemon for help with this.
> I see some good progress and some not so good progress.  First the  
> good stuff:
> Thanks to the both of you, and thanks to rburns and LeifHalvardSilli  
> for contributing.  At the present time, we have 23 revisions of that  
> wiki page.
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTABLE/SummarySpecification?action=info
> Now for the bad stuff: here is the amount of posts so far this month  
> (and look at the calendar, this month just got started) alone with  
> subject lines containing the word summary:
> 17 Leif Halvard Silli
> 9 Robert J Burns
> 6 Philip TAYLOR
> 6 Gez Lemon
> 4 David Poehlman
> 2 Steven Faulkner
> 2 Smylers
> 1 William Loughborough
> 1 Steve Axthelm
> 1 Ian Hickson
> I'd like to suggest as a homework assignment for everybody on that  
> list who posted more than twice on this subject yesterday alone:  
> namely to watch the following video before posting on this subject  
> again on this list:
> http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4216011961522818645
> Don't get turned off by the title of the talk.  No, I'm not calling  
> any of you poisonous.  But 186 posts in 7 days on 1 subject is a bit  
> overwhelming.  None of this would be a problem if the bulk of the  
> posts were of the form "if you were to change proposal x in the  
> following way...", but that's not what I am seeing.
> After you complete this homework assignment, I would like to try a  
> little experiment.  Let's all try to avoid pronouns in posts on this  
> subject for a week, and in particular lets try really hard to avoid  
> the words "you" and "I".  The subject we are talking about the  
> moment isn't you or me or him or her, but summary attributes in  
> general, and the proposals (three so far) on how the HTML5 spec  
> should approach the subject.
> After we have collected the proposals, lets try to eliminate ones  
> that won't work for one reason or another.  I'll ask people to  
> identify which proposals they can't live with, and why.
> Once that's complete, and if there are any proposals left, then lets  
> work on use cases that identify why such proposals should be  
> included in HTML5.
> - Sam Ruby
Received on Monday, 2 March 2009 20:43:54 UTC

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