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RE: Design Principles, Section 1.6.1 relationship to HTML 4.01

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2009 19:58:06 -0400
Message-ID: <6FBCADEE93126744846AA99EBEF4AEB60A5A9D@msfexch01.srunet.sruad.edu>
To: "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com>, "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "www-archive" <www-archive@w3.org>, "Leif Halvard Silli" <lhs@malform.no>
Laura wrote:
>> Maciej are you open to a disclaimer of some sort that recognizes
>> minority descent?

Maciej replied:
>I don't think a disclaimer recognizing minority dissent is the 
>appropriate way to deal with dissent.

I guess this is sorta at the core of why in the spring of 2007 I took so strong a stand against the Design Principles. It seemed that anything that purports to extend the charter of what the group is working on should not be done by simple majority rule. A stronger criterion for consensus should be required if this is to focus the activity of the entire group. I believe that the way to begin this undertaking of designing a new HTML would have been to collaboratively and consensually visualize the ends to which we are working and to let the procedural guidelines follow, as corollaries from that. 
My strong suspicion has been that WHATWG with its four score of working group members (and guaranteed parliamentary dominance)  had already visualized the outcome and then used that visualization to derive a set of procedures that would guarantee the outcome. It has been my belief for more than two years that the word "principles" is too strong ("guidelines" would be better), that it would be better use of time to collectively visualize what we seek to accomplish, and that the aphorisms that help to inform us how best to proceed (analogous to the editor's preferences on drawing from many sources) would continue to borrow from many sources.  There are hundreds of design principles at play in this effort, outside those few that are in the DP document, many of which have been overtly stated at several points in this corpus of discusssion. 
Were it not for the fact that I have witnessed many (seemingly) reasonable suggestions dismissed with no logic other than allusion to the mighty principles and for the fact that the extant disclaimer that already accompanies them has been ignored, I might concur with the assessment that they are useless but "mostly harmless." Alas, I have seen more evidence of their misuse than of their utility.
Received on Monday, 1 June 2009 23:59:33 UTC

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