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From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 15:58:53 -0800
Cc: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>, Brendan Riordan-Butterworth <Brendan@iab.net>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-id: <B42BAEC0-8B0C-48D6-BF75-A84967964D5B@apple.com>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>

On Nov 14, 2012, at 14:18 , Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:

> On Nov 14, 2012, at 9:47 AM, Thomas Roessler wrote:
>> On 2012-11-14, at 18:30 +0100, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com> wrote:
>>> Thomas,
>>> To this statement: “tracking" (a term which doesn't show up in the current normative language…“
>>> Please note the title of both documents.  J  To me that is clearly “normative” in context.  Fair?
>> Actually, no -- the title of a specification isn't normative.  Sometimes, the title of a document is even just some acronym, like "HTML."
> The charter uses the term tracking.  The browsers use the terms
> tracking or "to track" or "do not track".  TPE cannot avoid using
> the term tracking as that is the user expression that is being
> expressed by the protocol.  The Compliance specification is a
> charter deliverable to define tracking and related terms.
> In short, I am extremely annoyed that I have to explain this again
> and again and again...  THIS working group will not successfully
> pretend to define the DNT header field without a definition of
> tracking.  

You know, I used to believe this.  It frustrated me as well.  I have even offered a definition (which met with little opposition as I recall).

But I think the opposite view actually is tenable.

For example, if I tell you "on my property, you are required to be froobalicious" you might reasonably ask "what do you mean by froobalicious?".  I might be able to give you a simple definitional answer ('froobalicios means that your socks are always color-coordinated with your tie') but it may be that I hand you a multiple page document that says "froobalicious people must do X, must not do Y, should do Z when Q happens, may do R if an only if T is true, ..." and so on.  That document is as much of a 'definition' of froobalicious as anything else.  It may not be pretty, it may not be terse, it may not be quotable, it may not have a sentence anywhere that says "froobalicious is defined as …" -- but if you abide by my rules, you can say (with pride, I hope) "on Dave's property, I am always froobalicious!" and be confident that you are.

I might even agree.

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Friday, 16 November 2012 00:00:14 UTC

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