Re: Reference to the HTML specification

On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 8:43 AM, Marcos Caceres <>wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 4:19 PM, Glenn Adams <> wrote:
> > As far as I'm aware, the WHATWG is an unincorporated association,
> > cf. As such, it does
> not
> > enjoy the status of being a legal entity.
> Maybe not, but this is very legally real:
> "© Copyright 2004-2011 Apple Computer, Inc., Mozilla Foundation, and
> Opera Software ASA."

That has no bearing on the status of WHATWG as an entity. Personally, I find
it very troubling that this (or any) particular set of corporations is (from
all appearances) attempting to wrest control of HTML standardship from the
W3C. I can't imagine this will be good for the health of the HTML community.

> > Nobody has an obligation to follow the decisions of the HTML-WG; however,
> > standards are only as useful as they are adopted, not only from a de
> facto
> > but also a de jure perspective. The status of HTML5 w.r.t. the WHATWG
> will
> > be completely irrelevant with respect to established, de jure Standards
> > Development Organizations. If the WHATWG were to become a legal entity
> and
> > be accredited by an international or national standards body, then that
> > would change.
> Perhaps.
> > The entire world of standards bodies and formal industry consortia
> recognize
> > the authority of the W3C with respect to publishing formal standards for
> > HTML, including HTML5. They do NOT recognize the authority of the WHATWG.
> I guess history will be the judge of that, specially as to which
> version _actually_ gets implemented by browsers (and which version
> engineers are actually referring to as they are implementing).
> > In reality, at this point in time, the WHATWG is no more than a drafting
> > group that is feeding the W3C HTML WG with material.
> I think it might be the other way around, specially as the WHATWG spec
> is more complete and contains more new stuff.
> > As such, the authority
> > of the latter takes precedence over the former in the minds of all formal
> > customers of HTML5.
> Depends on who the consumers are.

The industry I work with, which is the consumer electronics industry, and
particularly Television related devices (set-top boxes, TVs,  DVRs, BluRay
Players, etc), including standards and compliance certification
organizations, e.g., CEA, SCTE, SMPTE, DLNA, ISO, ITU, etc., will reference
the W3C work, and not the WHATWG work. Engineers working in this industry
will do likewise.

Any divergence of implementations from the W3C published specs will be
viewed as non-compliant, notwithstanding what is stated in WHATWG drafts.

> > Of course, individuals (including corporations) may decide to favor the
> > positions of the WHATWG, but that will not affect the formal, public
> > position of international, national, and industry specific standards and
> > specifications organizations, who will favor the W3C.
> That's fine; the W3C does provide a seal of quality and IPR assurances
> - but the work will continue in both places regardless.

If the WHATWG were to publish a formal set of compliance testing content,
procedures, etc., that covered all the functionality it has undertaken to
define, then it would be assigned a higher status than the W3C in this
regard. At this point, I do not expect the W3C to go quite this far;
however, it will be necessary for the HTML-WG to at least define some test
suites to cover W3C process requirements. As such, that gives it a more
credible formal status within the industry I work.


Received on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 15:18:36 UTC