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Re: [whatwg] Correcting some misconceptions about Responsive Images

From: brenton strine <whatwg@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 16:06:45 -0700
Message-ID: <CALgSTaTy7QJf8Dp9MNGgUvkTz==WSL80VuM5BA42GhgV7hW-4Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: WHATWG List <whatwg@whatwg.org>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been doing a lot of work today correcting misconceptions about
> the Responsive Images proposal that Hixie put into the spec today.  I
> was pretty astonished at how much misinformation was flying around;
> what's worse, this sort of misinformation was actually making people
> *angry*, which doesn't exactly make people willing to calmly listen to
> corrections.  So, hopefully this email finds everyone in calmer moods,
> so we can get everyone on the same page.

> Any others that people can think of?

I have a question regarding Tim Kadlec's summary of the order of
events in all of this [1]:

> 1. Developers got involved in trying to standardize a solution to a
> common and important problem.
> 2. The WHATWG told them to move the discussion to a community
> group.
> 3. The discussion was moved (back in February), a general consenus
> (not unanimous, but a majority) was reached about the picture element.
> 4. Another (partial) solution was proposed directly on the WHATWG
> list by an Apple employee.
> 5. A discussion ensued regarding the two methods, where they
> overlapped, and how the general opinions of each. The majority of
> developers favored the picture element and the majority of implementors
> favored the srcset attribute.
> 6. While the discussion was still taking place, and only 5 days after it
> was originally proposed, the srcset attribute (but not the picture element)
> was added to the draft.

His account has been quoted [2] elsewhere, and while Tim's order of
events seems mostly accurate, Jeremy Keith has clarified [3] that the
WHATWG never suggested a CG be created and that Ted's 'srcset'
solution wasn't as completely out of the blue as it seemed.

However, it still looks like the most upsetting implication of his
timeline, namely that the WHATWG is prioritizing implementors over
authors, remains unclarified. Is it a misconception to say that the
levels of priority outlined in the W3C HTML design principles [4] are
not being followed here? Especially since it seems that we can extend
Tim's timeline with:

7. Authors react negatively to the addition of 'srcset' in the draft.
8. The 'living' draft is not changed and the authors' anger eventually
fades into hopeless acceptance because once something goes in to the
draft, it is set in stone forever and for all time.

Ok, so 8 is both hyperbolic and in the future, but a lot of people
seem to think that this is where we are headed. Personally, I'm not
angry about this and I'm willing to calmly listen to corrections, I'm
just trying to wade through all the misinformation here.

-Brenton Strine

[1] http://timkadlec.com/2012/05/wtfwg/
[2] http://adactio.com/journal/5474/
[3] http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2463167-secret-src
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/
Received on Monday, 21 May 2012 23:07:57 UTC

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