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Re: Differences between the W3C and WHATWG specifications

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2010 17:08:54 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1006121643130.19265@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Sat, 12 Jun 2010, Sam Ruby wrote:
>  * The Atom section is not listed in either the list of "minor"
>    differences, nor is it listed in the features that are
>    considered part of the next generation of HTML beyond HTML5.


> I'll also note that there was absolute consensus (as in no 
> objections)[3] to drop this feature from HTML5.

The WHATWG spec isn't just HTML5, and the consensus was not to drop it 
from HTML5, but to drop it from the W3C copy of HTML5. My own lack of 
objection to removing it from the W3C copy comes from the fact that my 
objecting makes no difference -- you just do what the more vocal members 
of this group want regardless of the technical arguments. Why bother 
arguing if you're just going to ignore me? Just to cause more noise on the 
mailing list? It's not worth it.

Seriously -- from a technical point of view, your decisions are all 
arbitrary. You put forwards pseudo-technical reasoning for your decisions, 
then dogmatically reference them whenever anyone asks you to explain them. 
The decisions aren't even internally self-consistent, let alone consistent 
amongst each other. The WHATWG draft continues to exist because it's the 
only way to have a specification that actually makes sense in the face of 
the ridiculous decisions you keep making. At least so far the decisions 
have all just been to either cut things or add self-contained things that 
can have enough caveats added to mitigate the damage -- I've no idea what 
we'll do if you make a decision on an issue of normative relevance, like 
many of the issues that you keep pushing back and not resolving.

Right now the process is biased towards two groups: those who are willing 
to complain loudest, and those who are willing to raise the least 
important issues. It is biased against those who apply reason and 
restraint. Every issue so far has carried in favour of the side who raised 
the most and loudest arguments, regardless of the validity of those 
arguments. Heck you didn't even dismiss Julian's ridiculous issue about 
what reference we should use for ASCII, which is the most frivolous issue 
I've ever seen a working group take on in my decade at the W3C. You are 
literally encouraging people to process troll.

> This is not the only problem.  Three examples: WebSRT is an example of a
> difference not listed, ping attribute is an example of a difference not
> listed, and MIMESNIFF is not listed as being previously being considered a
> part of HTML5 but now being published separately.

WebSRT and ping="" are listed.

I've added MIMESNIFF and ORIGIN.

> I don not understand why a reference to WCAG is omitted from the WHATWG 
> spec (by contrast, I note that there is a reference to CHARMOD)..

The reference to WCAG that is omitted is redundant with one in the 
introduction section. Including it makes the spec inconsistent as there is 
nothing special about the place where it is included. I considered 
rejecting the bug that asked for it but why bother? It would just have 
been escalated and then you'd have argued there was no reason not to 
include it, since the most vocal arguments would have been from those who 
support WCAG and want it mentioned at every turn, and the people who 
don't think it's necessary would all consider the issue too minor to 
spend time on, which would mean you would end up deciding the issue in 
favour of adding the reference anyway, making up some nonsense reason for 
why the reference should be there.

Easier to just add the reference in just the W3C version and keep the 
WHATWG version sane.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Saturday, 12 June 2010 17:09:24 UTC

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