RE: [W3C Web Crypto WG] about extensions to Web Crypto specification

What I don't understand is this: If you know how to express algorithms in extension specs, then why not just express them exactly the same way in the main spec?  I don't see carving up the spec into little pieces as adding any value.
From: Mark Watson<>
Sent: ý8/ý28/ý2014 12:28 PM
To: GALINDO Virginie<>
Cc: Mike Jones<>; Ryan Sleevi<>;<>
Subject: Re: [W3C Web Crypto WG] about extensions to Web Crypto specification

If it was going to unblock us on extensibility and EC then I could justify prioritizing work on that and have significant time to spend on it in the next week. I would expect it's largely a question of cloning the spec five times and then deleting all-but-the-bit-we-want from each one, adding some common bollerplate and pruning the references.


On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 12:03 PM, GALINDO Virginie <<>> wrote:

Ryan,  Mark,
what would be the realistic delay for you as editors to actually execute that split?

---- Ryan Sleevi a écrit ----

On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM, Mike Jones <<>> wrote:
You wrote “Perhaps this is the solution: pull out all the algorithms into, say, five extension specifications:
- EC
- Hash algorithms
- Key Derivation

That would just make things needlessly harder on developers.  As a working group, we owe it to developers to make the core spec as easy to use as possible, while still enabling extension in a timely manner.  Yes, obtaining consensus in the working group may be painful, but that’s not an excuse for us to inflict enduring pain on developers using our specs as a result.

I strongly oppose removing any of the existing algorithms from the core spec.

                                                                -- Mike


The above proposal is entirely reasonable, and reflects the approach other WGs have done, whether it be for treating elements like CSS, treating features of the Web such as Service Workers, DOM events, gamepads, or File access, or in handling elements like WebGL.

Despite your concerns, developers have not only succeeded, they've thrived AND benefitted from clear and digestable specifications, compared to the 'traditional' hundreds-of-pages-of-boilerplate.

I would again encourage you to reconsider your position, and also helpfully clarify whether this is a personal concern or if you have discussed it within the broader space of your colleagues at Microsoft (including the IE team), so that we can be clearer both what the concerns are, and how to solve it.

You can see that Mark and I are both trying to expend significant energy to find solutions to deal with real and ongoing problems that this WG is facing. It would be helpful for dialog if you would further explain your objections and, when possible, provide alternatives you feel meet these concerns.

I, again, remind you that these specifications, as with the specifications for things like HTML or XMLHttpRequest, do not and have not targetted developers. They target, primarily, implementors, to ensure that implementors can correctly create interoperable implementations. The W3C has a venue for Developer-facing documentation and guidance, and it's not the specification.

Thus, your first and foremost objective when evaluating the specification is not, should not, and cannot be "Is this hard for developers to understand", but "Is this easy for implementors to understand and reach interoperable implementations"

To that end, Mark's proposal, which I've said for some time, absolutely gives greater ability and flexibility to do just that.
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Received on Thursday, 28 August 2014 19:38:14 UTC