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Re: evidence of harm

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 09:40:23 -0500
Message-ID: <4A438C57.8030603@burningbird.net>
To: www-archive@w3.org
Sam Ruby:

"Meanwhile, Shelley has stepped forward and volunteered to edit both this
section and the section on semantic metadata.  Mike Smith has
indicated[3] that he is ready to set her up with write access to the
document repository to the group."

 From my understanding, this is not direct editing access to the HTML 5 
specification, but nothing more than a repository where one can place 
documents. However, these documents do not have to reside in the 
document repository in order to be considered. One need only make the 
involved parties aware of the documents, wherever they reside.

"In summary, the path I suggest is to find somebody who is willing to be
an editor and make your case.  That could be Ian.  That could be
Shelley.  That could be you.  If we end up with multiple competing
documents at the time we wish to enter Last Call, the document with the
greatest amount of consensus will be the one that advances."

Hobson's Choice.

There is another option that the W3C supports, which is to coach 
alternatives as part of a Formal Objection. One added advantage to the 
use of a Formal Objection is that the items submitted can't be 
completely ignored, as has happened with items that Steve Faulkner has 
submitted[1]. Quoting Steve in the HTML WG mailing list:

"The issue is not the ability to edit "a specification" it is the
ability of the "working group" to effect change of the html 5

Sam, you offer the ability to edit, not effect change.

Ian made the statement [2]:

"I've been looking for more editors for literally years; if there is anyone
who would like to help out there are dozens of specs waiting for editors.
Please, if you know of anyone who can edit specs, have them step forward"

But that really isn't true.

"Editing" implies work within an existing document, not being yet 
another author of yet another piece, which may, or may not, be 
considered. Editing implies that there is a sense of cooperation between 
editors--not the actuality, which is control by one person, with what 
seems little more than token oversight by the W3C.

Ian has mentioned that parts of the HTML5 specification have been 
"edited" by others. I have to wonder, though, if there has been a case 
where Ian has disagreed with the contents of the edit--strongly 
disagreed, as he does with topics under discussion, such as 
@summary--but still incorporated it into HTML5?  Or if the edit was 
provided by a person who is a member of the HTML WG, but not the WhatWG?

I can't tell by looking at any of the documents, because all they show 
is Ian's name.

Editing in the context of W3C specifications implies more than just 
re-arranging words into a more pleasing manner, there is also a sense of 
creation, and even authority. I do not see any evidence apparent in the 
HTML5 document, or in the discussions I've followed related to HTML5 
where anyone, other than Ian Hickson, has any authority over what 
ultimately goes into the HTML5 specification. The W3C HTML WG chairs may 
claim authority, but I've not seen any evidence of that authority--other 
than words in a page.

I could be wrong in both regards, though. The HTML5 specification could 
contain sections to which Ian strongly disagrees; the W3C HTML WG does, 
in fact, have the capability to effect real change in the HTML 5 
document. In fact, I would be very happy to be wrong. But I've not 
_seen_ evidence that I am wrong, and until such time that I do, I will 
not participate in what I consider to be nothing more than a sham: 
seemingly being an "editor", when whatever I do would be considered 
nothing more than noise (and humor generating noise at that).

No, I will work within the Formal Objection process, following the 
procedure as outlined by the W3C [3].


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jun/0678.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jun/0616.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies#FormalObjection
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 14:41:09 UTC

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