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

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 07:46:03 -0500
Message-ID: <4C08F58B.20803@burningbird.net>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> Aggressively snipping to focus on the point at hand.
> On 06/03/2010 12:08 PM, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> 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.
> [snip]
>>> From:
>>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010May/att-0029/figure.txt 
> [snip]
>>> uncomfortably generic but also dangerously close in meaning, which
>>> adds complexity and ambiguity.
>>> From:
>>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0002.html
>>> "Added complexity and ambiguity is a valid argument.
> [snip]
>>> 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."
> [snip]
>> 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.
> Having the spec define multiple elements providing the same function 
> is a valid argument.  It is potentially strong argument.  It is a good 
> objection.  The decision stated such.

Sam, the example in my change proposal is different, because it makes 
use of technologies created by other groups. Re-creating the exact same 
functionality in HTML5 is very much an instance of "Not Invented Here", 
which is the opposite of "Don't Re-invent the Wheel", so it is blatantly 
counter to one of the so-called fundamental design principles of this group.

That's why this objection was different than the one Laura provided, and 
should have been addressed separately in the decision.

If my change proposal was incomplete, too verbose, or didn't state 
objections succinctly enough, I would have appreciated the same feedback 
that you seem to be providing Tab Atkins, as he writes a 
counter-proposal for yet another one of my change proposals.

> It simply wasn't found to be the strongest objection.  Nothing more. 
> Nothing less.
Again, though, you referenced Laura's objection, which is a completely 
different objection than the one I raised in my change proposal, albeit 
without prefacing it with "I strongly object".

> By your own admission[1] there exist a set of users find these 
> features to be quote "uber cool" end-quote.  As far as I can tell, 
> browser vendors don't seem to be in any rush to implement these 
> features (which actually is a concern, to be addressed at the 
> appropriate point in the process), but do seem to be willing.  The 
> prevailing consensus within the a11y TF supports keeping these 
> features, in fact they strong object to removing it.

Yes, and it's going to be interesting when all of the accessibility bugs 
for hidden and aside (and most likely the other elements) hit the 
database. I'm rather surprised the group hasn't filed any yet. I'm 
assuming they will be forthcoming, though.

> This simply was not a matter of "no other argument need be considered".
> [snip]
>> 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.
> I would not use expedience to describe a process that started in 
> November and continues in June.  Bug 8404 (which is the subject of 
> this discussion) was opened in November and bug 8447 (which matches 
> the subject line) were opened in December.  Since that time, we've 
> solicited input from yourself, the editor, other members of the 
> working group, the a11y task force, and looked outside the group.
> The bug, issue, discussions, and decisions are all available online.
> At this point, I do believe that the Group has duly considered the 
> legitimate concerns of dissenters such as yourself as far as is 
> possible and reasonable, and that the group should move on.
> That being said, should you decide to pursue a Formal Objection, you 
> should be well prepared at this point.  You have a technical argument, 
> and have proposed concrete changes.  Your proposal is neither vague 
> nor incomplete.  You have provided substantive arguments and rationale.

Evidently, not substantive enough, since you didn't consider the 
arguments in your decision. You couldn't have if you believed that 
Laura's objection and mine were the same thing.

No worries on responding any further to this decision, or those 
following. I'm only responding to your email now, to inform you I am 
waiting on the resolution of all my change proposals before I take 
further steps. I must admit to some ambivalence about taking any further 
steps, because contrary to your assertion, I believe that expediency is 
the overriding concern in the W3C when it comes to HTML5.

> - Sam Ruby
Received on Friday, 4 June 2010 12:46:46 UTC

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