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RE: @headers issue resolved - allowing a td to be referenced by a header to be in the HTMl5 spec.

From: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 10:13:19 -0700
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
CC: "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D12127075745E648BBC075EF46983E17118FA1A758@TK5-EXMBX-W603v.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
I will post this message to the public list as well.

Speaking for myself as chair, as I was chairing the call yesterday, and although I think Mike and I are in sync on this I want to offer him the opportunity to give a different take:

The Charter says: "However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but after due consideration of different opinions, consensus is not achieved, the Chair should put a question (allowing for remote, asynchronous participation using, for example, email and/or web-based survey techniques) and record a decision and any objections, and consider the matter resolved, at least until new information becomes available."

On this topic, there has been much asynchronous participation already.  I explicitly listed this as a topic for discussion for the telecon, to invite those who might not be able to participate to offer their input or ask for the matter to handled in some other way in order to incorporate their input.  (There were, BTW, no explicit regrets for this telecon.)  I also elicited different points of view at length during the issue discussion on the telecon.  There was, in effect, no significant dissent represented on IRC or the telecon, and I considered consensus to be achieved - thereby requiring no further question to be put to the group.  I did explicitly mention the last clause - if anyone has a significant objection to this approach, backed with reasoning that addresses in some way the examples offered in the issue exposition (see the issue on tracker or the IRC log for references) or explaining why in their opinion those examples should not be relevant, then we will, as per our Charter, revisit the issue.  Barring new information being available, I'd like us to make progress, and I don't see a significant reason not to consider the current proposal as the right resolution, and representing consensus of the group.  If you have another solution that solves the problem (representing "multi-dimensional" header semantics that are relatively common cases) and could be considered better, I'm more than happy to revisit this issue.

The chairs are NOT bound to put each and every issue to a vote or poll, when we feel consensus (= "general agreement", not unanimity) has been achieved.  And, of course, after putting such a question to the group, it would still be Mike and my responsibility to declare a decision anyway.  (You are correct, there is no exception for minor issues, although I would prefer we not test that either if we can all get along and be a bit flexible on minor issues instead.  If, of course, they are in fact minor.  I can remember avidly arguing against changing the !important cascade order of user stylesheets, until I realized it was a minor issue and simply withdrawing my objection.)

As a member of the WG, of course, you can claim that the chairs are inappropriately declaring consensus, and ask for an explicit poll, or of course escalate to the Staff Contact, the Group Lead, etc.  I would ask, of course, that you start by approaching the Chairs and ask for a discussion (email, to the group even, is of course just fine) of why a particular decision might be considered consensus even when there is dissent, and I think you'll find that Mike and I are happy to oblige.  But we do want to make progress, and I don't think any of us want to be blocked by lack of unanimity.

-Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Anne van Kesteren [mailto:annevk@opera.com]
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 4:41 AM
To: Steven Faulkner
Cc: Chris Wilson; Michael(tm) Smith; www-archive@w3.org
Subject: Re: @headers issue resolved - allowing a td to be referenced by a header to be in the HTMl5 spec.

On Fri, 29 Aug 2008 13:26:16 +0200, Steven Faulkner
<faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
>> It may sound odd, but as far as I can tell that's how it works per our
>> charter. (Though it seems a bit derogatory to say that about Ian, as he
>> quite clearly explains why changes are made).
>
> There is no where in the charter that I can see, where it says the
> only way to have something added to the spec is at the editors
> discretion, can you point it out to me if there is?

http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter#decisions states:

   As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will
   seek to make decisions when there is consensus. We expect that
   typically, an editor makes an initial proposal, which is refined in
   discussion with Working Group members and other reviewers, and
   consensus emerges with little formal decision-making.

it then continues with stating what should happen in case consensus does
not arise:

   However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but after
   due consideration of different opinions, consensus is not achieved,
   the Chair should put a question (allowing for remote, asynchronous
   participation using, for example, email and/or web-based survey
   techniques) and record a decision and any objections, and consider
   the matter resolved, at least until new information becomes
   available.


> Why then after consideration the chairs decide that something should
> it not be added to the spec, does it automatically need to go to a
> vote?

Because that's how our charter works.


> it can then be challenged if there is a groundswell of
> opposition.

It can also be challenged if it's not in the specification. (Which is what
is happening, by raising issues, sending e-mail, et cetera.)


> We are not after all here asking for some loony tune addition with no
> hope of adoption, we are asking for a very minor change  that is
> proven to work and is well supported and has no or little
> implementation overhead for browser vendors (please correct me if I am
> wrong).

There's no exception clause for minor changes as far as I can tell.


--
Anne van Kesteren
<http://annevankesteren.nl/>
<http://www.opera.com/>

Received on Friday, 29 August 2008 17:14:05 UTC

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