W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > October 2014

Re: Snapshots

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2014 19:03:47 -0400
Message-ID: <542F2B53.8080607@intertwingly.net>
To: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
CC: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
On 10/03/2014 03:53 PM, Chris Wilson wrote:
> Yes, I think that's helpful; they're not currently binding in any way,
> and they don't really indicate "consensus" (unless "ready for
> implementation" really means "we all talked it out, hugged, and we think
> it's good now."  There should also be a status that says "this is baked,
> done, shipped, and is incredibly unlikely to change."  (AKA really
> long-term normative).

Even that's not complete.  There also should be a status for: (1) not 
yet widely reviewed, (2) one or more implementers tried to implement 
this, and decided to pull it, but it remains in the spec, (3) authoring 
advice that is widely ignored as the authors that ignore it find the 
results to be useful.

I can provide examples of each of these categories, and suggest many 
more categories, but that will quickly go off topic; instead I will 
suggest that the right 80/20 balance is struck with two documents types:

Working Drafts: for those that can tolerate change, but want to see the 
likely future direction, and ideally want to comment on it and influence 
the direction.

Recommendations: as Chris said "this is baked, done, shipped, and is 
incredibly unlikely to change."

At the moment, the WHATWG is focused primarily on the first type, and 
yet people are asking why the documents that they produce can't be 
treated like Recommendations; where the obvious answer is that the 
specific specification in question doesn't meet that bar.

In the recent past, this has been addressed by co-branding a number of 
specifications once they reach the point where they are "baked, done, etc.".

More recently, the question has come up as to whether the co-branding is 
a necessary step.  Unfortunately that has resulted in some distraction 
in the form of inflammatory and disrespectful exchanges.  But that 
merely slowed things down, it hasn't stopped the discussions which are 
still ongoing.  The one thing it has done, ironically, is make 
discussions on this topic more difficult to have in public.

Finally, the question has come up as to whether or not references need 
to be recommendation level, and the simple fact is that they don't.  In 
the specific case of URL, we have been working hard on this, and should 
have something to share in a week or so.

At this point, I can't promise that we will get to where many would like 
us to be in time for HTML 5.0, but I can promise that HTML 5.0 won't be 
the last W3C Recommendation for HTML. :-)

- Sam Ruby
Received on Friday, 3 October 2014 23:04:18 UTC

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