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Re: Example of chairs decision as made in the HTML WG

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 11:36:49 +0100
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1361910B-99BE-4C5B-AF50-949D53788EA7@gbiv.com>
To: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
While I appreciate the example for formatting a chair decision, I hope
we don't take any lessons from the HTML WG decision-making process.
A real WG makes decisions based on the discussion on the mailing list,
minuted meetings, how *all* of the implementations of that technology
implement it now, and the definitive statements made by WG members
regarding how they intend to implement.  That is what the chairs
should consider when there is a need to decide consensus.

Introducing arbitrary deadlines and limited-time polls in which uninformed
opinions and ditto crowds are considered equal to the aforementioned
discussion and implementation experience is ridiculous.  Having the chairs
regularly meet in private to make arbitrary decisions on the basis of those
polls, while completely disregarding the entire history of the discussion
and the known implementation facts/plans, is absurd.  And one result of
that absurdity is the worst specification ever developed in any standards
forum.  It is ignored by implementors -- one half claim to be implementing
the WHATWG version instead and the other half have no choice but to ignore
the irrelevant browser specs because they aren't writing a browser.
Regardless, neither spec accurately reflects what WebKit implements
as HTML, so WebKit has become the de facto standard.  The chairs'
perception of making progress is nothing more than a pyrrhic victory.

....Roy

On Jan 26, 2012, at 10:05 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:

> Following the discussion we had this morning about the process on closing some issues, here is an example of a chair decision over an issue in the HTML WG. [1]
> 
> It outlines
> 
> *** Question before the Working Group ***
> == Uncontested observations:
> *** Decision of the Working Group ***
> == Next Steps ==
> == Appealing this Decision ==
> == Revisiting this Issue ==
> == Arguments not considered
> 
> [1]: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Feb/0372
> 
> -- 
> Karl Dubost - http://dev.opera.com/
> Developer Relations, Opera Software
> 
> 
Received on Thursday, 26 January 2012 10:37:18 UTC

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