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Re: Issue 30 (Was: RE: Getting HTML5 to Recommendation in 2014)

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 16:16:24 -0400
Message-ID: <505B7998.3010401@intertwingly.net>
To: Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On 09/20/2012 04:01 PM, Adrian Roselli wrote:
>> From: Maciej Stachowiak [mailto:mjs@apple.com]
>> On Sep 20, 2012, at 12:14 PM, Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>
>> wrote:
>>>>> 2. Not acting because there *may* be a Formal Objection isn't a reason.
>>>> Granted, I don't know the players, who might object or how complex
>>>> that process is. If I tell a client I'm not going to follow the
>>>> agreed scope of work (the existing committed process and deadline, in
>>>> this analogy) because he or she may object, I'd expect to be fired.
>>>> I'd continue to move ahead and follow the expectations that have
>>>> already been set. A Formal Objection will be dealt with, but at least there
>> will be *movement*.
>>>> There is no "may" about it.  We have people making such statements
>>>> without having even seen a decision.  We have every reason to believe
>>>> that they will follow through.  And that resolving such FOs will delay our
>> entry to CR.
>>> Now you have me in a process knowledge-gap.
>>> Will a Formal Objection to an attribute that isn't even in the spec really
>> delay an end of 2014 CR date? Is the process that complex?
>> All Formal Objections must be fully processed before we can enter CR. So it
>> would shift all milestones starting with entry to CR by however long that
>> takes.
> I don't know what "processed" means in this context (I understand it with meat, not with FOs).

Forward to the Director.  See


> Can a Formal Objection be processed by declaring it as a future extension spec? Is there a document somewhere that tells me what the processes are?
>>> Is it likely that there may be other Formal Objections to other aspects of
>> the spec? Should we toss those aspects aside if someone threatens a Formal
>> Objection?
>>> Yes, those are rhetorical, but it seems to me this approach enables anyone
>> who wants to threaten a Formal Objection as a way to strong-arm an action
>> (or lack of action).
>>> To me, that isn't a reason to stop moving ahead on this or other issues that
>> are already in play.
>> We hope that in this case, an extension spec can be a compromise that will
>> not lead to strong objections from either side. We may be wrong on that. But
>> the W3C Process requires groups to find proposals that draw the weakest
>> objections. The Director has made clear to the Chairs that, while it may not
>> be possible to avoid every Formal Objection, the WG should not run
>> headlong intot hem either.
> What I am reading here is that if I don't like how an aspect of the spec is coming along, I can threaten a Formal Objection and the Chairs, at the direction of the Director, should avoid doing that thing that made me threaten it.
> This sounds like a broken policy that enables threats of a FO. Moreso if the "processing" method is overly complex.

Not exactly.  We have a number of Formal Objections:


These are cases where the chairs believe that the Group has duly 
considered the legitimate concerns of dissenters as far as is possible 
and reasonable, and that the group SHOULD move on.

Clearly the Director may feel differently, and we will deal with that.

At the present time, I don't believe that we have considered all of the 
legitimate concerns of the dissenters.  I see one plan ("Instate 
Longdesc") that appears to satisfy the needs of the educational market 
but has what some believe to be unintended and unacceptable consequences 
on the "top 10,000 web sites home pages".  I see another plan that 
purports to satisfy the need of the wider Internet, but that is disputed 
and furthermore it appears to impact the educational market as a 

Quite frankly, both appear to be valid objections, and the group should 
continue to work to find common ground.  My belief is that given that 
status, that work needs to continue independently until the question as 
to what market this attribute is intended to serve is resolved.

If that is resolved quickly and to the larger HTML WG's satisfaction, 
then integration in time for the HTML 5.0 release will occur.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2012 20:16:53 UTC

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