Consensus checkin

Hi folks,

I would not be surprised if some of you are starting to regard me as
something of a nag. I can live with that. By my count, there are seven
(7) more meetings scheduled for the ixml CG before XML Prague. I expect
we will miss at least one of those, so it makes more sense to count it
as six. And, realistically, the only thing we could hope to do on the
last meeting before the conference is agree that the spec is finished or
propose some small editorial corrections. So five (5) *at most*.

If we don’t make progress in email, we won’t be finished in time for
Prague and I think that would be very unfortunate. I happened to mention
ixml to a couple of other XML folks recently. One asked “is that still
going on?” and the other said, explicitly, that they’d given up on it
because it was taking so long. We need a finished spec in Prague.

To that end, here’s a summary of where I think we are with respect to
the open issues. It’s a bit of an exercise in reading the tea leaves of
email threads, so please don’t take offense if you think I’ve got some
of them wrong. Alternative readings invited.

* Error codes

I think we have consensus forming around option 3, (two digit?) numeric
error codes inlined in the prose, with the text of the error messages
exclusively in an appendix. I think there’s one outstanding disagreement

* Change “~” to “!”

Consensus forming? Most folks commenting seem to agree that “!” is
likely to be more familiar to our users than “~”. I think there’s one
outstanding disagreement on record.

* Use “=” and “|” exclusively in rules

I think there’s consensus forming around this change. There’s clearly
some outstanding affection for “:” and “;”, but I think everyone who has
replied has expressed support for the proposal and agreed that it would
clarify grammars for users. There are no disagreements on record, as far
as I can see.

* Version declaration

Unclear. I count one explicit endorsement and no objections. There’s
only one comment on the proposed wording for the spec:
and it’s positive. More discussion would be good, but I think we might
have the beginnings of consensus here as well.

* Change the insertion mark

I’m tempted to describe consensus forming around “+”, but I think that
might be overstating the facts. Two members of the CG have expressed
the strong opinion that “^” is unsatisfying, perhaps even
unsatisfactory. At least one member has agreed that “+” would be
better. More discussion would be good.

* Namespaces

This appears to be the most hotly contested of the new features. By my
reading, the majority is in favor, although I suspect there are a few
more details that need to be worked out. I think there’s one
outstanding disagreement.

Personal proposal:

In the interest of reducing the amount of work we have to do in
meetings, I’d like to encourage the chair to declare that we have
consensus on, at least, error codes, the syntax changes, and the version
declaration and see if anyone raises an objection. I’m happy to
volunteer to help get a new spec drafted with those changes in time for
next Tuesday’s meeting.

If there are no objections to changing the insertion mark, then I’d add
that to the list as well.

That would leave five weeks to come to consensus on namespaces and deal
with the hundred other small issues that are bound to arise as we try to
cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s. We might just make it.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norm Tovey-Walsh

Received on Thursday, 21 April 2022 08:45:14 UTC