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Re: microdata use cases and Getting data out of poorly written Web pages

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 21:41:37 +0000 (UTC)
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0905082127440.7824@hixie.dreamhostps.com>


On Fri, 8 May 2009, Shelley Powers wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Fri, 8 May 2009, Shelley Powers wrote:
> >
> > > It's difficult to tell where one should comment on the so-called 
> > > microdata use cases. I'm forced to send to multiple mailing lists.
> > 
> > Please don't cross-post to the WHATWG list and other lists -- you may 
> > pick either one, I read all of them. (Cross-posting results in a lot 
> > of confusion because some of the lists only allow members to posts, 
> > which others allow anyone to post, so we end up with fragmented 
> > threads.)
> But different people respond to the mailings in different ways, 
> depending on the list. This isn't just you, Ian. How can I ensure that 
> the W3C people have access to the same concerns?

If you wish to discuss matters in the W3C lists, I'm happy to do that too. 
All I ask is that you don't cross-post between the WHATWG list and other 
lists. This is a simple rule intended to prevent fragmented threads.

> > > Ian, I would like to see the original request that went into this 
> > > particular use case. In particular, I'd like to know who originated 
> > > it, so that we can ensure that the person has read your follow-up, 
> > > as well as how you condensed the use case down (to check if your 
> > > interpretation is proper or not).
> > 
> > I did not keep track of where the use cases came from (I generally ignore
> > the source of requests so as to avoid any possible bias).
> Documenting the originator of a use case is introducing bias? In what 
> universe?

When dealing with people who have historically had a very aggressive, 
dismissive, or otherwise rude attitude, I might find myself more prone to 
ignoring their feedback if I disagreed with it. Or similiarly, I could 
find that I am more likely to act on feedback from a colleague at Google 
than a colleage at a competitor such as Apple. Such bias is IMHO 
unacceptable. By removing source information, I prevent myself from being 
biased in this way. This is why I ignore the source of feedback.

> Ian, I think its important that you provide a place documenting the 
> original raw data. This provides a historical perspective on the 
> decisions going into HTML5 if nothing else.

I agree that this would be good information to have; I do not have the 
bandwidth to both edit the spec and keep track of this information. I have 
however asked for volunteers to help me with this in the past, and would 
welcome any help you might be able to give.

> If you need help, I'm willing to help you. You'll need to forward me the 
> emails you received, and send me links to the other locations.

I have forwarded the bulk of the feedback here:


I excluded some private e-mails (including a thread on which you were 
cc'ed), for obvious reasons.

> I'll then put all these into a document and we can work to map to your 
> condensed document. That way there's accountability at all steps in the 
> decision process, as well as transparency.

That would be great!

> > > In addition, from my reading of this posting of yours titled 
> > > "[whatwg] Getting data out of poorly written Web pages", is this 
> > > open for any discussion?
> > 
> > Naturally, all input is always welcome.
> No, I didn't ask if input was welcome. I asked if this was still open 
> for discussion, or if you have made up your mind, and and further 
> discussion will just be wasting everyone's time.

Whether further discussion would be a waste of time depends on what is 
discussed, obviously. In general I am always open to changing my mind when 
faced with new information. In the context of the W3C HTML WG, what I 
write into the HTML5 spec is but a first draft proposal, our process 
requires that the working group have consensus on a topic before it can be 
considered "closed".

If there are use cases that have been missed, if the proposals are not the 
best possible solutions, if the proposals don't address the use cases or 
scenarios, if there is information about implementions or deployed content 
that affects the conclusions, if there are demonstrable problems that are 
not addressed in the current text, basically if there is any technical 
basis whatsoever for further discussion, then discussion would be good.

That's what I mean when I say "input is always welcome".

> > (Regarding microdata note that I've so far only sent proposals for 
> > three of the 20 use cases that I collected. I've still got a lot to go 
> > through.)
> After digging, I found another one, at
> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-May/019620.html

The e-mails I have sent on the topic so far are:


> Again, though, the writing style indicates the item is closed, and 
> discussion is not welcome.

Please rest assured that this is not the case.

> I'm concerned, too, about the fact that the discussion for these is 
> happening on the WhatWG group, but not in the HTML WG email list. I've 
> never understood two different email lists, and have felt having both is 
> confusing, and potentially misleading. Regardless, shouldn't this 
> discussion be taking place in the HTML WG, too?

I am happy to have this discussion wherever it occurs.

> Isn't the specification the W3C HTML5 specification, also?

HTML5 is a joint WHATWG-W3C effort.

> I'm just concerned because from what I can see of both groups, interests 
> and concerns differ between the groups. That means only addressing 
> issues in one group, would leave out potentially important discussions 
> in the other group.

Both groups together form but a tiny minority of the actual community that 
HTML5 is intended to target. I take into account input from all sources.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 8 May 2009 21:41:38 UTC

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