W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > August 2006

Re: SVG Tiny 1.2 is now a Candidate Recommendation

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 23:18:29 -0700
Message-Id: <730BB153-58FA-40F7-A3BA-617AD5EFA7FC@apple.com>
Cc: "'Chris Lilley'" <chris@w3.org>, www-svg@w3.org
To: doug.schepers@vectoreal.com

On Aug 13, 2006, at 9:21 PM, Doug Schepers wrote:

> 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."

If a Last Call results in substantive changes to the text, then per  
the W3C process document, the document is returned to the working  
group, with the next step being another Working Draft:

"A technical report is returned to a Working Group for further work  
in either of the following situations:

1) The Working Group makes substantive changes to the technical  
report at any time after a Last Call announcement and prior to  
Publication as a Recommendation, except when the changes involve the  
removal of features at risk identified in a Call for Implementations.  
In the case of substantive changes, the Working Group must republish  
the technical report
as a Working Draft.

2) The Director requires the Working Group to address important  
issues raised during a review or as the result of implementation  
experience. In this case, Director may request that the Working Group  
republish the technical report as a Working Draft, even if the  
Working Group has not made substantive changes."

Situation 1 clearly applies here - there were substantive changes.

Further, the same section says:

"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."

There is no option of publishing a new Working Draft after Last Call,  
and then proceeding to CR anyway on the basis of Last Call.

> 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
> organizations.
>  "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.

Are you claiming then, that there were no "substantive changes" since  
Last Call 3? The W3C Process Document clearly states, as I quoted above:

"In the case of substantive changes, the Working Group must republish  
the technical report as a Working Draft."

I would like to know what definition of "substantive" is being used  
that would not cover the many changes made, such as the major  
reworking of the uDOM section.

> Personally, I think that during this LC period, we were very  
> straightforward
> and were on the whole extremely responsive. [... snip ...]

I think given the state of the spec at the time it was questionable  
to even issue a Last Call, especially one of the minimum possible  
duration. Many issues were found which made the spec outright  
incompatible with other W3C specifications, or outright self- 
contradictory. Furthermore, the WG attempted to write off various  
issues by claiming that the Last Call would only allow comments in  
response to changes made as a result of the previous Last Call; the  
W3C process certainly does not allow limiting the scope of a Last  
Call like this. And after that, to publish a Working Draft including  
major substantive changes, and then use the previous Last Call  
Working Draft from 7 months ago as the basis for a Call for  
Implementation gives the impression that the WG is a serial abuser of  
the process. I note that I am not the only one to have this impression.

> 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.

I do not think it should be required to participate in the WG for  
one's concerns to be addressed in a reasonable manner. That is the  
reason the W3C Process includes extensive public comment periods.

As an example of a comment where I do not think my concerns were  
reasonably addressed, see the thread starting at the following  
message (which later continues in March):


The responses to my concern that a proposed part of the spec could  
not be safely implemented in any user agent that loads untrusted  
content from the network (like, say, a web browser) were uniformly  
negative and many times outright rude. The spec still contains the  
problematic feature, which I don't think any browser-hosted  
implementation can reasonably implement.

The responses to many other comments, including those from other  
reviewers, were similarly combative, and it is frustrating to work in  
an environment where people trying to offer their technical expertise  
are treated rudely. I will note also that these are not just random  
trolls but people like myself, Bjoern Hoermann, Ian Hickson, Boris  
Zbarsky and others with a demonstrated high level of expertise in web  

I do appreciate the work the WG did to address other areas of  
incompatibility, but the spec remains, in my opinion, riddled with  
problems, and it is difficult to justify continued participation in  
the process under the current circumstances.

Received on Monday, 14 August 2006 06:18:45 UTC

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