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RE: SVG Tiny 1.2 is now a Candidate Recommendation

From: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 00:21:21 -0400
To: "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, "'Chris Lilley'" <chris@w3.org>
Cc: <www-svg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20060814042127.44DC117DAE@postalmail-a2.dreamhost.com>

Hi, Maciej-

First, I want to apologize that your comment from yesterday didn't get an
immediate reply.  Most of the members of the SVG WG are away on vacation or
at conferences.  I wanted to respond, but thought it best to wait until our
next meeting on Tuesday to get a group concensus.

Since you are upset, though, I'd like to respond now with the caveat that
this is my own take, not necessarily an official response.

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
| Could the SVG Working Group please explain which part of the W3C  
| Process Document allows going directly from Working Draft (the draft  
| of http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-SVGMobile12-20060721/ ) to Candidate  
| Recommendation, bypassing the Last Call stage?
| The only valid advancement step for a Working Draft that I 
| see in the Process Document is to Last Call:  
| "After republication as a Working Draft, the next forward step  
| available to the Working Group is a Last Call announcement. The Last  
| Call announcement may occur at the same time as the publication of  
| the Working Draft."
| The SVG Working Group did not announce a Last Call for the July 21  
| Working Draft.
| If the SVG Working Group has been granted an exception to the  
| requirements of the W3C Process, could the WG please explain who  
| granted the exception and what the justification is?

Sorry for the confusion.  The July 21 publication was requested by several
people both as a heartbeat requirement and as a way to check that the
comments we addressed were in fact put into place correctly and did not
introduce inconsistencies.  We did this, as we explicitly stated, "to allow
commentors to see the changes to the text, introduced as a result of
comments, in place."

Maciej Stachowiak later wrote:
| Given the working group's relative disinterest in interoperability  
| with HTML/CSS, and its willingness to repeatedly violate the W3C  
| process with no explanation, I don't think it makes sense for 
| vendors of browser-hosted implementations to continue to participate.   
| Instead we should work out amongst ourselves what makes sense to  
| implement in a web browser.

I find this a distressing and unfair comment.  I don't feel like the SVG WG
violated process at all.  The description of a the Last Call phase [1] says,
in full:

 "A Last Call Working Draft is a special instance of a Working Draft that is
considered by the Working Group to meet the requirements of its charter. The
Working Group publishes a Last Call Working Draft in order to solicit review
from at least all dependent Working Groups (copying Chairs of known
dependent groups). External feedback is also encouraged. A last call
announcement must recapitulate known dependencies. It must also state the
deadline for comments (e.g., three to four weeks is issued). The Last Call
Working Draft must be a public document.

 "To ensure the proper integration of a specification in the international
community, documents must, from this point on in the Recommendation process,
contain a statement about how the technology relates to existing
international standards and to relevant activities being pursued by other

 "Once the last call period has ended, all issues raised during the last
call period resolved, and the Working Draft modified if necessary, the
Working Group may request that the Director submit the document for review
by the Advisory Committee as a Candidate Recommendation. It is possible that
comments will cause substantive changes that require that the document
return to Working Draft status before being advanced to Last Call again."

There is nothing in that states that the next publication after a Last Call
Draft must have yet another Last Call.  It is mentioned as a possibility,
but the Director evidently did not think that that was necessary.  Contrast
this with the description of Candidate Recommendations, Proposed
Recommendations, and Recommendations, which outline clear conditions under
which a specification *must* be returned to Working Draft status.

Personally, I think that during this LC period, we were very straightforward
and were on the whole extremely responsive.  We made many corrections, and
allowed people to see them in context, with an explicit request that they
reply if we got it wrong.  Where we were informed that our edits were
unsatisfactory, we normally made good-faith attempts to correct it.  We made
a great number of corrections toward compatibility with other technologies.
We addressed a large number of comments that came in after the LC comment
period ended, and are still working on more.

I truly wish we could have made everyone happy, but a specification is a
matter of compromise, and many commentors had contradictory desires, as well
as wishes that conflicted with those of people and companies on the WG.  For
my part, I was very unhappy with a great many of the compromises that, in my
opinion, reduced the functionality of SVG, but were made to satisfy

Finally, in response to your call for implementors to "drop out", I think
that is exactly the wrong approach.  Ask the implementors on the WG; they
are able to exert much more influence because they take an active role and
dedicate time to further their goals.  Again, there were many things that I
didn't personally like, but were put in or taken out because implementors on
the WG successfully made technical arguments that the rest of the WG agreed
with.  We have repeatedly asked Apple to join the SVG WG, and I have
personally invested my (and my company's) time in addressing specific issues
that you (as a representative of Apple) expressed (notably textArea... I
thought we addressed most of your concerns, but I apparently missed some
that you thought were important, for which I apologize).  But were Apple on
the SVG WG, those concerns could have been aired and addressed more
effectively.  I'm not assigning blame... I know that it takes resources
(though many members of the SVG WG get by on 3 hours a week or much less,
and still effect changes); I'm just illustrating why "dropping in" is better
than "dropping out".

I will address your technical comments in another email.

[1] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process/Process-19991111/tr.html#last-call

Received on Monday, 14 August 2006 04:21:55 UTC

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