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Re: The harm that can come if the W3C supports publication of competing specs

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 13:59:54 -0600
Message-ID: <643cc0271001161159r51345db7gc21f659cde55dce2@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: Philip Jägenstedt <philipj@opera.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 12:40 PM, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:
> On Jan 16, 2010, at 9:47 , Shelley Powers wrote:
>> On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM, Philip Jägenstedt <philipj@opera.com> wrote:
>>> On Sat, 16 Jan 2010 17:06:18 +0100, Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I do not work for an implementor, which seems to imbue one with super
>>>> human markup skills, so you'll have to excuse me if what I perceive
>>>> support for competing standards by the same standards organization
>>>> seems to me to be, well, forgive my frankness, the dumbest thing the
>>>> W3C has done since blink.
>>> The only reasonable alternative is to publish no standard at all.
>> No, the only reasonable alternative is for the W3C to continue the
>> path it has begun many years ago.
> I have been with standards groups and trade associations (and indeed, companies) that have refused to do B because it would overlap with, or 'cannibalize' A, even when there was demand and support for B.  Refusing to do B has always been a mistake, I'm afraid, no matter how good A is.
> I take no position on whether RDFa and Microdata are, in fact, in conflict, or overlap, or whether either or both are, in fact, good ideas or in demand.  I merely note that I doubt the basis of the argument.
> David Singer

I respect your disagreement David. In this case, though, I believe two
specs will result in harm. Getting people to incorporate metadata has
been a challenge in the first place. Now, if you have members of this
WG having metadata wars in the email groups for other applications,
people are going to decide to not support either. And probably
politely, or not so politely, tell us all go buzz off.

Particularly if members of this group go to these outside
organizations and tell the organizations that one or the other will
die, so might as well go with the one that's officially supported by
Google, Mozilla, Apple, and Opera -- as compared to the one supposedly
officially supported by the W3C, we presume.

Leading me to ask: David, is Apple officially committed to supporting
Microdata over RDFa?

What's also bothersome in this email exchange is that there's no
indication in this discussion that the web is not run by Google,
Mozilla, Apple, and Opera alone. Seemingly forgetting that when comes
to metadata--heck, when it comes to anything on the web--there's a
host of other tools and organizations, and people, that also have a
stake in the result.

Kind of reminds me of the discussions long ago...about Microsoft.

> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.

Received on Saturday, 16 January 2010 20:00:27 UTC

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