Re: WebIDL Spec Status

On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 7:14 AM, Boris Zbarsky <> wrote:

> On 6/24/14, 6:56 AM, Charles McCathie Nevile wrote:
>> While nobody is offering an editor who can get the work
>> done, this argument is in any case academic (unless the editor's
>> availability is predicated on the outcome, in which case it would be mere
>> political machinations).
> I strongly disagree with that characterization.
> The fact is, for browser vendors a stable v1 Web IDL snapshot as we have
> right now is not very useful, since that's not what they need to implement
> in practice: there are too many APIs currently being specified that cannot
> be expressed in that snapshot.  So it's really hard to justify devoting
> resources to such a snapshot.
> On the other hand, making Web IDL reflect ongoing specification reality is
> something that's really useful to browser vendors, so it might be easier to
> convince them to spend time on that.  No political machinations involved.
> A more recent snapshot might be more useful, but is still likely to end up
> not being an actual implementation target because there are still too many
> changes happening in terms of ES integration and the like.
> I don't have a good solution to this problem, unfortunately.  :(
> On the other hand, the only audience I see for a snapshot are
> specification writers who don't want/need the newer things we're adding to
> Web IDL.  Are there other audiences?  Are there actually such specification
> writers?  The recent set of changes to Web IDL have all been driven by
> specification needs.

There are organizations attempting to create device certification regimes
based on specifications that normatively reference HTML5, DOM4, XHR2,
Canvas2D, WebGL, etc, and many other W3C API specs all of which have a
normative dependency on the WebIDL in the sense that they must implement
IDL features in ECMAScript according to the ECMAScript binding semantics in
WebIDL, which, in turn become dependencies for testing.

Such device certification regimes cannot work unless the referenced
specifications are locked down and clearly implementable. Having a WebIDL
that is always in a state of flux makes such work well nigh impossible or
at best extremely difficult and untrustworthy.

> -Boris

Received on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 17:06:00 UTC