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

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 03:19:53 -0700
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Cc: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-id: <EAEC3365-3F8B-418C-A498-E7A87F72375F@apple.com>

On Aug 29, 2008, at 10:23 AM, Chris Wilson wrote:

> James Graham wrote:
>> It seems to me that several aspects of this procedure have not been  
>> followed:
> 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.

I wrote my previous reply before reading this, however, I would state  
that I strongly disagree with this bendinf of the process.

> 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.

Clearly since the issue has been (and continues to be) controversial  
in email, the declaration of consensus was premature. Since there is  
not consensus, I ask the Chairs to either leave the issue for further  
discussion or put the question to the Working Group. (I would prefer  
the former).

I personally helped draft the "Decision Policy" section of the  
charter, and I can tell you that its intent was specifically to  
prevent decisions from being made in telecons, since not all  
participants are willing and able to attend them, and so important  
points of view are disenfranchised. There is a temptation to make  
power plays based on who is or isn't present. In fact, the very fact  
that there was no objection to the decision on the telecon and that  
there has been objection by email proves this to be the case in this  

I hope such a violation of the charter (which, again, is specifically  
designed to prevent binding technical decisions from being made in  
telecons) does not happen again.

Received on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 10:20:41 UTC

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