Web IDL Garden Hose (was: ECMA TC 39 / W3C HTML and WebApps WG coordination)

Hi, Brendan-

(CCing Cameron McCormack, the editor of Web IDL)

Maciej Stachowiak wrote (on 9/24/09 1:48 PM):
> On Sep 24, 2009, at 9:47 AM, Brendan Eich wrote:
>>> Probably the best thing to do is to provide detailed technical review
>>> of Web IDL via the W3C process.
>> Expertise on both sides of the artificial standards body divide may
>> very well be needed. The rest of this message convinces me it is needed.


>> One problem with inviting review via the W3C process is getting
>> attention and following too many firehose-like mailing lists.
>> es-discuss@mozilla.org is at most a garden hose, which is an advantage.

I'm sympathetic to this concern.  The way we resolved it for working on 
DOM3 Events was to move discussions to www-dom@w3.org.  In this case, it 
was an existing list, but we can just as easily create a new list, 
public-idl@w3.org for example, which is dedicated to Web IDL, including 
coordination with other standards bodies.  Because only the super-geeky 
would care about such a thing, I think it would be very manageable.  It 
would still be a WebApps WG deliverable, just with a different mailing list.

>> Another problem is that not all Ecma TC39 members are W3C members
>> (their employers are not members, that is).

Unless this is an issue for IPR reasons (where the Ecma TC39 members 
have relevant IP), I don't think we'd need to be overly concerned about 
this.  The vast majority of new W3C Working Groups (including HTML, CSS, 
SVG, DAP, Geolocation API, WebApps, etc.) are chartered as public 
groups, and almost all of these conduct their technical work on public 
lists (some of the best feedback I get while editing DOM3 Events has 
come from people who aren't W3C members and aren't in the WebApps WG). 
Anyone can post to these lists, regardless of their W3C membership, and 
their feedback will be taken into account, usually in real time (that 
is, when the editor can get to it).  If there are some people who need 
to be more directly involved, they could be Invited Experts (or their 
companies could join W3C, to help fund the work).  The chief obligation 
to posting to a public W3C list is to permit your email to be archived, 
so it is on the public record.

The editor's drafts for Web IDL (and most other specs of the groups 
mentioned) are public and can be reviewed at any time by anyone [1].  (I 
actively encourage people to refer to the most recent drafts of specs I 
edit, because they change more rapidly than the official Working Drafts, 
and I suspect Cameron is similarly inclined.)

I really don't see how the review process and accountability could be 
much more open for the development of Web IDL elsewhere, nor is the 
burden on reviewers that large... it would simply be one more 
low-traffic mailing list.  Are there other barriers you see?

[1] http://dev.w3.org/2006/webapi/WebIDL/Overview.html

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs

Received on Thursday, 24 September 2009 21:44:05 UTC