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Re: On the fostering of immaturity and derision

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 15:47:22 -0500
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, list@html4all.org
Message-Id: <1190839642.12486.273.camel@pav>

On Wed, 2007-09-26 at 09:46 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 26 Sep 2007, Steven Faulkner wrote:
> >
> > Hi Ian, indeed i don't have to believe you, but when the editor of the 
> > spec starts to lose the working group participants respect due to his 
> > condoning (explicitly or implicitly) of unsavoury behaviours on a public 
> > IRC dedicated to HTML 5, it is a matter that should be taken seriously.
> Actually in practice it doesn't really matter how many people respect me, 
> so long as the browser vendors do. The Web tends to just follow what the 
> browser vendors support. My goal is to have a high quality spec that 
> fosters interoperability and universal access; I'm not trying to be keep 
> everyone happy, nor do I have any intention of acting as behaviour police 
> for other participants.

You're in a leadership position; if you don't take exception to
derisive behavior, you implicitly condone it.

>  In the particular case of the #whatwg channel, I 
> strongly believe in encouraging an open environment where people can 
> openly discuss any topic of interest to the participants, and where people 
> can give their honest and raw opinions and views.

An environment where derision is condoned is not open.

The W3C HTML Working Group is chartered to serve a
"diverse community".

While it's true that the Web largely follows what the browsers support,
what the browsers support is subject to negotiation with this
diverse community.

> At the end of the day, you don't need to respect me for the spec to be 
> successful and for the overall Web community to advance.

It's possible for people to be engaged despite a lack of respect,
but it's hardly optimal. And some critical mass of the community
needs to be engaged in the development of HTML 5 in order for
it to advance the state of the art.

The social aspects of cooperation have had sufficient impact on progress
of W3C work that they are mentioned explicitly in the process document:

"There are three qualities an individual is expected to demonstrate in
order to participate in W3C:

     1. Technical competence in one's role
     2. The ability to act fairly
     3. Social competence in one's role"

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Wednesday, 26 September 2007 20:48:02 UTC

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