Re: publishing new WD of URL spec

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 12:27 AM, James Robinson <> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM, Glenn Adams <> wrote:
>> WHATWG specs are not legitimate for reference by W3C specs.
> Do you have a citation to back up this claim?

If it isn't obvious, I am stating my opinion regarding the matter of
legitimacy. Just like Domenic is stating his opinion. My opinion is based
on 20 years of experience with the W3C and 40 years of experience with
standards bodies.

In contrast, my claim regarding IPR policy and lack of consensus is not an
opinion, but an uncontested fact. Or would you dispute this?

>> Their IPR status is indeterminate and they do not follow a consensus
>> process.
> Do you have citations for where this is listed as part of the requirements
> for references in W3C specifications?

The current W3C normative references guidelines [1], only recently
published, are the only written policy of which I'm aware. This document
does not prohibit referencing a WHATWG document. Ultimately, only TBL (or
his delegate) will make a decision on such matters. But I trust they will
take input from their members into account.

Reading [1], one wonders how the WHATWG would fare on the question of
"Stability of the Referenced Document", including "Stability of the
Organization/Group". Since there is no organization per se, and since the
philosophy of the WHATWG is explicitly contrasted with the notion of
"stability", then there are serious questions to be asked about permitting
such a reference.


> I know these are your personal opinions but am not aware of anything that
> states this is W3C process.

I agree, but that doesn't mean that it is acceptable or even a good idea to
permit normative references to a WHATWG "work", i.e., a work of Hixie and
friends. Personally, I don't care how good the technical content of this
work is if its authors refuse to participate in accepted processes. Why,
for instance, is this work [URL] not being taken to the IETF? That is the
natural home for such work. From all appearance, the answer is that Hixie
et al don't like playing the normally accepted standards process game and
wish to sideline it for their own ends. While I admire Hixie and his group
of friends for their technical proclivity, I do not admire their refusal to
work within accepted practices.

There is good value in following the W3C IPR policies and participating in
a consensus process. So I object to efforts that would diminish or
destabilize the value proposition of the W3C, the IETF, and other accepted
organizations, for no other apparent purpose than to satisfy the whim and
impatience of a gang of Young Turks.

I think this is all I need to say on this subject, so I will avoid
continuing this thread. Take it as you will.

> - James

Received on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 23:27:01 UTC