Public list or not? (Was What are Semantics?)

In a message dated 19/08/2002 22:51:09 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

> Please take www-tag off the cc line for this and all related threads. 
> The opinions that XSL-FO should be stricken from the arch doc, and that 
> the TAG should consider a general statement of the value of semantic 
> markup, and that you have to be careful about accessibility issues, have 
> been well-set-forth and need no reiteration, leaving aside issues of 
> childish flaming. -Tim


Your request seems to me to be unfortunate.

it states, "The TAG encourages public discussion of architecture issues on 
the archived www-tag list.".

It also states, "due to the sheer volume of email received, the TAG cannot 
guarantee that every issue raised on the list will be addressed.". Thus, 
clearly, issues can be raised on the public TAG list which are not going to 
be formally addressed by TAG. Why are you wishing to constrain such public 

There are, in my view, at least three potential issues of architectural 
significance buried in the tangle of the recent discussion:

1. The unqualified use of the term "semantics" is confusing, ambiguous and 
potentially harmful
2. The Web Accessibility Initiative, as currently formulated, may be 
potentially harmful to the future development of the Web
3. The further development of XHTML, since it is inevitably based on 
ambiguous semantics, is potentially harmful to semantic clarity

[I will post an Issue Request to www-tag with respect to point 1. above and 
leave further development of points 2. and 3. to a later date.]

The public needs to be able to raise issues with TAG - after all, it is we 
who have to pick up the pieces when W3C gets it wrong. That, unfortunately, 
is not simply a theoretical situation!

If TAG wishes to change the rules for posting to www-tag (and, for example, 
confine it to officially accepted TAG issues) I suggest that another W3C list 
(www-tag-feeder?) be established to allow public discussion of issues which 
may be relevant for TAG. If some adaptation like that is not put in place 
then the public is left in a situation ... here I exaggerate a little to make 
my point :) .... similar to citizens of Turkmenistan, who are allowed only to 
discuss how great their leader is. I would suggest that "public discussion" 
on a list to discuss architectural issues on the World Wide Web should be 
more open and semantically very much richer than that.

I would ask that you withdraw your request or that the W3C provides a 
www-tag-feeder list to provide the opportunity for public discussion on 
issues of potential architectural importance not yet formally accepted by 


Andrew Watt

Received on Tuesday, 20 August 2002 03:53:27 UTC