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Re: WebIDL Spec Status

From: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:46:09 -0600
Message-ID: <CACQ=j+e1NeZX2G7aS9sqtxzs_st8qHBSgpWogZgzpK6a5EHqFg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>
Cc: WebApps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu> wrote:

> On 6/24/14, 1:05 PM, Glenn Adams wrote:
>> Such device certification regimes cannot work unless the referenced
>> specifications are locked down and clearly implementable.
> I see.
> So this is not about actual spec implementations or spec authors but
> effectively about a QA cycle that compares the implementations to the
> specs, and which needs to know which spec to compare the implementations to.

Not at all. This is not about one or even a group of organizations or about
QA. It is about fulfilling the process goals of the W3C and the WebApps WG.

The primary goal of the W3C is to produce Technical Reports that reach a
stable level of maturity. The charter of each WG includes the creating of
technical reports at the REC maturity level, i.e., undergo the "REC track

If a WG fails to move a technical report to REC then it has failed its
chartered purpose (as far as that report is concerned). Alternatively, it
could formally decide to abandon the work by moving it to a WG Note, which
implies it won't be further progressed to REC.

The W3C has customers other than browser vendors. It portrays itself as a
standards organization (at least informally) and talks about its work
products being standards (at least informally). Standards organizations
must move their work to some status that is recognized as complete,
otherwise they will become a joke in the larger community of SDOs and

In my capacity in this WG, I represent a Full Member who pays for
membership in order to see technical work reach completion. An ED or a CR
does not represent completion. They are willing to help wherever possible,
and devote considerable resources to the W3C at large. If at the end of the
day I have to tell them that key technical work, such as WebIDL, will never
reach REC, and that means that most key specifications (HTML5, DOM4) are
technically incomplete or at least untrustworthy (as concrete, well-defined
technical works), then it will have a negative impact on their use of those
specs as well as a negative impact on future investment in the W3C process.

In the current situation, I think the best course would be for the chair
and team members of this group to attempt to work with the editor to define
a reasonable schedule for moving it forward to REC, and, if necessary call
for volunteer co-editors if the current editor is unable to invest
sufficient time to see through that process. [I would note that Cameron has
done and is doing an outstanding job, but appears to be negatively impacted
by constant requests for new IDL features by ongoing spec writers.]

The bottom line is this about fulfilling the WhatWG charter and the W3C
process goals.

> In an ideal alignment of incentives, the organizations that need this sort
> of snapshot would step up to produce it, but I'm not sure how likely that
> is to happen in practice...
> -Boris
Received on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 17:46:58 UTC

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