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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-91: Removing the aside Element

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2010 11:08:51 -0500
Message-ID: <4C07D393.3090005@burningbird.net>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> On 06/03/2010 11:12 AM, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> And a single instance of showing that we already have existing
>> technology that provides the exact same functionality as
>> figure/figcaption should also have been considered a strong objection to
>> the creation of two new elements. Two elements, may I had, that do not
>> provide the same accessibility functionality as the frugal alternative I
>> provided.
>> You did not address my objection in your decision, Sam. You completely
>> and totally ignored it.
> From:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010May/att-0029/figure.txt 
> "4. Added complexity and ambiguity.
> The figure element is confusing. As Shelley delineates in her Change
> Proposals, the definitions of the aside and figure sound almost
> identical, except that figure has a caption. They are not only
> uncomfortably generic but also dangerously close in meaning, which
> adds complexity and ambiguity. This is a symptom of a spec that
> doesn't do its job. Bad complexity leads to frustration, wasted time
> and wasted money."
> From:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0002.html
> "Added complexity and ambiguity is a valid argument.  Unfortunately, it
> is not exactly a binary quality.  It is not like you can remove the
> figure element and HTML5 will suddenly become simple.  The relevant
> question is whether the additional complexity is merited.  Observing
> whether or not this gets implemented and how users react to the
> implementation is the best way to determine if that balance is right.
> Net: there is only one potentially strong argument relevant at this 
> time for removing the figure element, and that is the complexity 
> argument. However, we find the objections to removing the element to 
> be stronger -- at this point in time."

No, Sam, that was Laura's argument. It was a good argument, but it is 
not the same argument. Any reasonable person can see the two are not the 
same argument. You did not address MY arguments, MY objections. You 
didn't even reference them in the decision. How can you say it was 
strong or not, when you didn't even reference it in the decision! And 
you're still not responding to it.

But in the instructions for the survey, you told people not to repeat 
what was in the proposals, but to only add additional arguments. This 
means that whatever arguments I brought up, or whatever arguments were 
brought up in the counter-proposal, were not addressed.

You did not address my concerns. You did not include an evaluation of my 
objections. You're literally following what the W3C has written in how 
to handle dissent, without consideration for what might have been the 
intent behind such words.

Frankly? I think my argument was a strong argument, was a good 
objection, but admitting such would not meet the interests of 
expediency. The browser implementation companies want this element, 
therefore no other argument need be considered. You said as much in your 
decision. This doesn't strike me as meeting the new W3C CEO's interest 
in engaging members from communities outside of just the vendors.

Why would members in other communities feel that they can contribute in 
a W3C working group, when the working group co-chairs disregard the 
community concerns in the interest of supporting the browser 
companies--the guys who pay the W3C bills.

> We are willing to reopen the discussion should there be new 
> information presented[1].  I do not see the above as being new 
> information.  If anyone here believes that their concerns are not 
> being duly considered by the group, the W3C has a process[2] for that 
> too.

Rather than apply the decision process in good faith, rather than 
provide thoughtful, considerate decisions that take into account ALL 
objections, concerns, and suggestions, what you're advocating is slowing 
up the progression of the specification by forcing us to file numerous 
Formal Objections, which then have to be addressed by the W3C Director.

You're in effect, passing the buck. I'm not sure the Director is going 
to be appreciative.

But you give me no alternative but to file a Formal Objection. It is the 
only way I know of to ensure a decision that is based on something other 
than expediency. The Director may agree with you, but I hope he will at 
least _read_ my proposal: fairly, openly, and without the bias evident 
in the HTML WG.

> - Sam Ruby
> [1] 
> http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#WGChairReopen
> [2] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#WGAppeals
Received on Thursday, 3 June 2010 16:09:29 UTC

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