Re: First Draft of W3C version of URL Spec

Hi David,

I was pointed to your message (I'm not subscribed) and thought I'd
clarify a few things.

> a) to promote the principle that work should be copyable,
> and that open licenses that encourage forking are good,
> and then complain when it happens

While it is true that CC0 enables forking, the main reason for having
that license is reuse by software, authors, books, tutorials, etc. See Forking should be the path
taken only when no cooperation can be done with the party where the
work originates or when the goals are fundamentally different. E.g.
OpenSSL vs BoringSSL. I don't think those apply.

> b) for a community group of the W3C refer to the W3C
> as if it were some foreign body

I guess that stems from the fact that the WHATWG existed before there
was a WHATWG CG and since not all in the WHATWG identify with the CG
as much.

> c) to insist that the W3C publish under a copyable license
> so you can copy that work, and then complain when
> copying happens the other way. Is it really intended that
> this be a one-way street? Is that respectful?

The WHATWG cannot disable forking as it would conflict with goals we
consider more important, see above. And we can insist all we want, the
W3C is not doing it. Furthermore, if the W3C did publish
specifications under CC0, which would be great, there would only ever
be a fork if the above conditions apply. E.g. if the W3C dropped the
ball (as it did with HTML and DOM) or took them in a direction the web
developer community is not interested in (think DOM Validation,
XForms). We're not interested in rebranding. We're interested in
moving the web forward.

If everyone plays by the rules and has no rebranding agenda, the only
forking that happens is the result of being lousy or not addressing
the needs of the community you are targeting.

> It’s nice to see the contributors of the WhatWG URL spec
> being recognized as awesome, and before the authors of
> the preceding specs are merely thanked, but is that respectful?

I think that's an oversight on my part. I might have thought special
thanks > awesome at the time :-( Do you think something along the
lines of would be
better? I tentatively made that change:

(Note though that there's a difference here. Ian was talking about
W3C's copy of HTML that is a direct copy-and-paste of WHATWG's HTML.
WHATWG's URL is written from scratch and not at all based, not in
structure or anything, on preceding standards work.)

> Is there any reason we cannot work together to produce a
> CG Report from the WhatWG CG, a Recommendation from
> a W3C WG, and an ISO standard which are technically
> identical but have been subject to expanding circles of
> scrutiny and approval?

The main reason I see is that it will take another decade or so to get
all URL parsers properly aligned. Until that happens we do not have
anything stable to publish across several organizations. URL parsing
does not work the same way across browsers. This is mind boggling in
2014, but true. The other reason I see is that when we have stable URL
parsing across browsers, we might see changes to it, which the
traditional way of doing standards is not very equipped with. Software
changes every six weeks these days, publishing a new REC easily takes
a couple of years.

Kind regards,


Received on Monday, 1 September 2014 08:30:09 UTC