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Re: ISSUE-100 and convergence of specs

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 16:52:26 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTinX3REe0MP8bCvJR7yQcFNRwBcxm3aZo3Rp3dmZ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 10:05 AM, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> citing Aryeh in
> <http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/issue-100-objection-poll/results>:
>
>> 2) It will increase divergence between the W3C and WHATWG copies of the
>> HTML specification. This increases author confusion and makes the W3C copy
>> of the standard less useful, as it grows less comprehensive. The HTMLWG's
>> charter also encourages it to pursue convergence with the WHATWG. Hixie has
>> implied that he will retain srcdoc in the WHATWG version even if it's
>> removed from the W3C version:
>> http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20100804#l-884
>
> I think that's close to extortion: "you want the specs to converge, and the
> WHATWG version isn't going to change, so there's nothing you can do".
>
> I sure hope the chairs will ignore this part of the objection.

It is, pragmatically, a downside of the proposed change.  Given that
the WHATWG and W3C want to pursue convergence, they both need to try
to avoid making changes that the other will refuse to match.  Ian has
made more than a few changes in the WHATWG version of the spec that he
doesn't really agree with, because he doesn't disagree with them
strongly enough to let the specs diverge further over them.  If the
W3C actually does want to minimize spec divergence, it needs to make
compromises to the WHATWG sometimes as well.

If the chairs don't care about spec convergence and just want to act
as though the WHATWG spec doesn't exist, then it would be fair to
ignore this argument.  However, I don't think that's consistent with
this group's charter.  They should be considering not only whether
they would agree with the change if they had total freedom to make the
decision, but also (if they favor the change) whether it's worth the
downside of further divergence, given that we know that will be the
result.  It might be, in the end, but the question needs to factor
into the decision.

Incidentally, I'm not in any position to extort anything, since I have
no more influence in the WHATWG than anyone.  I'm neither the editor
nor on the steering committee, and those are the only positions that
matter even in theory.  I'm just pointing out a fact, as someone who
has no say in the matter either in the W3C or WHATWG.
Received on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:53:08 GMT

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