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Re: CfC: FPWD of Web Messaging; deadline November 13

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 19:44:14 +0100
To: "Arthur Barstow" <art.barstow@nokia.com>, "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.vl2mb0h8wxe0ny@widsith.eng.oslo.osa>
Hi Ian,

On Thu, 11 Nov 2010 18:47:18 +0100, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Thu, 11 Nov 2010, Arthur Barstow wrote:
>> When WebApps re-chartered last Spring, Web Messaging was added to our
>> Charter thus there is an expectation we will publish it.
> I really don't think that what our charters say sets much of an
> expectation. There would be much more concern over them being accurate if
> that was the case. :-)

Possibly somewhat true, but we should aim to make it more the case rather  
than less...

On the other hand there is certainly concern raised about what that  
charter does and doesn't say which implies that people already think it  
sets expectations, and there are also concerns raised when those are not  
met. So I suspect it isn't quite as irrelevant as you seem to suggest :)

>> Assuming we get consensus to publish the FPWD, one way to move forward
>> with the publication would be for me [and Mike Smith if he's available]
>> to copy the latest ED and only make required changes to the text to pass
>> Pub Rules e.g. update the Status of the Doc section. Would that be OK?
> Honestly I don't really see what value publishing this draft has. Just
> doing it because our charter says to do it is just bureaucracy for
> bureaucracy's sake. In any case, I do not think we should publish this
> draft without first solving these problems:

There are a couple of bits of value.
1. As Maciej already pointed out, the structure of the Patent Policy means  
there is value in having the FPWD.
2. There are a lot of people who are only tangentially involved in W3C but  
use its specs, and it signals to them that this is still something moving  
3. It motivates (some of) us to fix the problems with the current approach  
to publishing.

>> > I'm also a bit concerned that every time we publish anything on the >  
>> TR/ page, we end up littering the Web with obsolete drafts (since the >  
>> specs are maintained much faster than we publish them). I'd really
>> > rather just move away from publishing drafts on the TR/ page at all,
>> > if we could update the patent policy accordingly.
> These problems are technically easy to solve, only politics would prevent
> us from addressing them.

Unfortunately politics are real things, not just some imaginary bogeyman  
we use to frighten children away from questioning us.

> I'm not really interested in discussing the politics, though.

This, for example, is a political statement (as well as a rational  

> The problems are pretty obvious to anyone who's involved
> in the development of actively-used Web standards;

The problems for people who are developing web-standards are obvious to  
those people. Unfortunately there are other problems faced by people  
actively using them. Judging from your proposal, they may not be so  
obvious to people who are actively developing standards.

For example, when setting requirements that standards be used in an  
industry (as opposed to mandating particular products), there is a common  
and natural reluctance to simply assume that any changes to the standards  
will be benign, or of little impact. (I would also characterise this as  
common sense). Before a standard is completed (and in the rapid  
development model, usually therefore only of historical interest) it is  
important to refer to it in various ways, and some of those will require  
the ability to reference something where there is faith that it really is  

> IMHO it's just something W3C staff should fix,
> there's no need for any discussion really.

While I believe we agree on a lot of what the problem you talk about is,  
and probably in large part on the solution, I think it's a little more  
complex than you make out, and involves more of the 'stakeholder  
community' (yay corporate-speak) with different impacts on different  
parts. So I would be (pleasantly) surprised if no discussion is needed.

Either way, I don't see why it should directly hold up publication.  
Naturally this discussion takes time away from preparing a draft, but  
someone other than you can do that - it isn't very time-consuming or  
complicated work.

The question here is whether there is a strong reason not to publish one -  
i.e. do you object to the Working Group publishing its work according to  
the normal process, or do you just want to point out that there are things  
we really need to improve in that process, and that in any event you  
currently don't have the time to do the mechanical work for publishing?



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 12 November 2010 18:44:58 UTC

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