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Re: Moving past last call for HTML5

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 22:19:45 -0500
Message-ID: <499F72D1.7070308@intertwingly.net>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: www-archive@w3.org
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Feb 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> If it turns out that this is one of only a few things that need to 
>>> change to dramatically increase the level of consensus from certain 
>>> quarters, then it's certainly an area that will change. On the other 
>>> hand, if the people objecting to this section also object to most of 
>>> the rest of the document, then changing it wouldn't gain us much. Does 
>>> that make sense?
>> Regarding the question in the last paragraph: not to me.
> 
> Ok, let me rephrase it. When there are topics where different parties in 
> the working group have radically different mostly incompatible positions 
> where the distinction is a philosophical one and not one that can be 
> resolved by reference to data or logical argument, as is the case with 
> some of the controversy in the introduction sections, I think it is 
> reasonable to expect each party to compromise on some of their desires if 
> parties compromise in comparable amounts.
> 
> I do _not_ think it would be reasonable for one party, for example Larry, 
> to compromise on every issue, with another party "winning" every 
> controversial argument.
> 
> I similarly do not think it would be reasonable for two parties to 
> compromise on something if doing so wouldn't actually improve the position 
> of the working group. To give an extreme: if someone has the position that 
> some particular controversial text should be added _and_ that the entire 
> approach taken by HTML5 is wrong, and they will formally object if either 
> of these positions fails to be attained (i.e. they refuse to compromise on 
> either), then it doesn't make sense for someone with the opposing views to 
> accept the controversial text but refuse to change the approach, since the 
> net result would be that neither party would be happy.
> 
> Does _that_ make sense?

You must have some history with Larry that I'm unaware of, and frankly 
the above is at odds with my previous understanding of how you operate 
(which I would have characterized as "fact based" rather than the more 
horse-trading approach I see described above).  This will take time for 
me to digest.

>>> The approach of just ducking controversy doesn't improve 
>>> accessibility.
>> Time out.  If I felt the "no consensus, no code" approach was viable in 
>> anything approximating a reasonable timeframe, we wouldn't be having 
>> this discussion.  We are exploring a potential "next step", not a "final 
>> destination".
> 
> I don't understand. By W3C process, we're not supposed to have any 
> remaining issues at last call -- that is, the spec is supposed to as close 
> to the final destination as we can make it. How are we not exploring a 
> final destination?

Since you clearly are not an idiot, I must be expressing myself rather 
poorly.

I don't believe that the next release of HTML will be the last release 
of HTML.  This is true whether it be called 4.1 or 4.5 or 5.  I suspect 
it will be externally called 5 but with a feature set that you would be 
more comfortable calling 4.1.   I don't want to rathole on naming.

> Anyway, what I'm hearing from you is that what I should do is continue to 
> respond to feedback, naturally including things like Larry's feedback, 
> with the intention to be down to zero issues before we want to publish.
> 
> What I am unclear on is how we are to proceed beyond that point with 
> issues where none of the parties are willing to compromise, assuming we 
> have some, since it seems unlikely that we won't. It's also unclear to me 
> how I can find out what that list would be. Is the list of OPEN issues a 
> list of unresolved issues where no compromise has yet been reached? Would 
> it help if, at some future point before October, I started going down this
> list and tried to drive them to resolution myself? Or are we expecting 
> this list to have zero items on it by then?
> 
> I guess my question boils down to asking about what your expected 
> timetable is for these controversial issues.

Given the rate of change, the inattention to heartbeat requirements, and 
the rather widespread perception that this group is not exactly open to 
input, I believe that this document has not gotten the attention it 
deserves.  Only after these items have been resolved will we start 
hearing about the real issues.

Until we collect that list, I can't make definitive statements; but I 
can approach the problem from the other direction, and list what items 
do not cause me undo concern.

I'm not concerned about items that were present in HTML4 that continue 
to be present in HTML5.  I'm not concerned about items explicitly in 
scope.  I'm comfortable that canvas will not be an issue and believe I 
will be in a position to assess how to close that next month.

I don't see any individual item beyond that which -- in isolation -- 
could not be addressed by October.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Saturday, 21 February 2009 03:19:58 UTC

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