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Re: Another Draft of TAG position on use of unregistered media types in W3C Recommendations

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 15:30:55 -0400
To: "T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>
Cc: connolly@w3.org, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF40D2C140.9D0D3B5F-ON852571BF.006A7EB6-852571BF.006B33CC@lotus.com>

Well, unfortunately, your nonconcurrence made it in just under in time, as 
I was about to mail this response to the AB.  Seriously, both formulations 
of this are well within the range of what I personally can happily 
endorse, but it sounds like Dan can't live with mine, and Raman can't live 
with his.  As I say, either is fine with me. 

It's really time to get something out.  I think we're basically agreed 
that at the very least, workgroups should try hard to get their types 
registered.  I think we're agreed that, at least in principle, there might 
be justifiable exceptions, though I take it that Dan suspects that 
examples are vanishingly rare and is unconvinced that he's seen an 
existence proof.  Dan seems most comfortable phrasing thre rule as simply 
"register it", acknowledging that most W3C processes can be bent given 
suitable justification, and leaving it to the AB to propose a bending 
process in this case.  Raman seems to be saying:  not good enough.  We 
need to acknowledge somewhat more that there may be good reasons for not 

I think I need to step out of the way on this, and encourage you two and 
anyone else on the TAG who's concerned to come up with some text that you 
both can endorse.  I'll be glad to send it under my name on behalf of the 
TAG once it's settled, or else we can agree that one of you will.  I do 
think we're overdue in getting something out, and ultimately it seems to 
me that the disagreement here is sort of small.  Can we resolve this 
quickly?  Thanks!


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

"T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>
Sent by: www-tag-request@w3.org
08/03/2006 01:24 PM
        To:     noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
        cc:     connolly@w3.org, www-tag@w3.org
        Subject:        Re: Another Draft of TAG position on use of 
unregistered media      types in  W3C  Recommendations

I find it somewhat disturbing that we appear to  be taking a
position with respect to telling groups what to do namely,
"Attempt to get all types you used registered with IANA"
-- but then step back  when it comes to saying what a group
should do if the above fails. I believe it is fair for us to say
"You cannot create new types unless you register them
appropriately" --- 
but I'm not comfortable with our   guidance to WGs on
pre-existing unregistered types.

noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com writes:
 > Dan Conolly wrote:
 > > That much is fine. I don't like the last bit, but I wasn't 
 > > going to object until you prompted me again ;-)
 > Oh, I wouldn't have wanted to miss a chance to go another round.  Lucky 

 > thing I checked :-).  Let's see if we can wrap this up.  First, let me 
 > just merge the changes I think you've asked for, so you can at least 
 > verify that I understood your proposal.  Is this what you intended?
 > ==================YET ANOTHER DRAFT =================================
 > Members of the W3C Advisory Board have recently approached the 
 > Architecture Group (TAG) to ask for clarification of the guidelines 
 > regarding references to unregistered media types from W3C 
 >   The TAG briefly considered this question during their teleconference 
 > 18 July 2006 [1,2], and again on 25 July [minutes not yet available]. 
 > note is being circulated to publicize our conclusions. 
 > Media types and other formats referenced from W3C Recommendations 
 > be properly registered with the appropriate authority.  Nonetheless, 
 > TAG recognizes that certain such formats come into widespread use 
 > registration, and that there may thus in exceptional circumstances be 
 > reasons for considering reference to unregistered types in W3C 
 > Recommendations.  To emphasize that the importance attached to 
 > registration, the TAG suggests the following guidelines for W3C 
 > Recommendations:
 > * Workgroups preparing Recommendations should avoid dependencies on 
 > types or other data formats that are not properly registered with the 
 > appropriate registration authority.  In the case of MIME media types, 
 > authority is IANA.
 > * Accordingly, workgroups should arrange for registration of new media 
 > types that they may create, and should make reasonable efforts to 
 > the proper registration of other formats on which their Recommendations 

 > depend.
 > W3C process is a balance of consensus, architecture, and timeliness; if 
 > working group requests to proceed with references to unregistered media 

 > types, it's a process question to say whether the extenuating 
 > circumstances are sufficient.   As the TAG is not chartered to address 
 > process questions, we leave it to the Advisory Board to establish any 
 > policies or just leave it to the discretion of The Director.
 > Noah Mendelsohn
 > For the W3C Technical Architecture Group
 > [1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2006/07/18-agenda.html
 > [2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2006/07/18-tagmem-minutes.html#item05
 > ===================================================
 > For the record, I can easily live with that.  Just to follow up a bit, 
 > wrote:
 > > On Tue, 2006-07-25 at 18:06 -0400, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
 > > [...]
 > > > The TAG does recognize that there are a few unregistered media 
 > > > already in widespread use, and we agree that there may be 
 > > > cases when Recommendations would benefit from reference to such 
 > > 
 > > Well, that suggests that we think there are, currently, cases
 > > when Recommendations would benefit from reference
 > > to unregistered media types. I don't think there are.
 > > >   We 
 > > > believe that the W3C process should recognize that there is 
 > > great value to 
 > > > encouraging W3C groups to promote the registration of such types, 
 > > > should also recognize that asking a workgroup to do this as a
 > > precondition 
 > > > for referencing a type could in some cases be burdensome.
 > > 
 > > That suggests that in this burden is undue. I haven't seen a case 
 > > it is.
 > Well, actually, I think some TAG members such as Raman strongly 
 > that they felt the burden could be significant, and wanted that point 
 > view represented a bit.  That's why I wrote the draft as I did.  My own 

 > position happens to be about half way between (enough burden to matter, 

 > though rarely), but more to the point, if Raman and other TAG members 
 > live with your proposed text (which is sort of neutral on the burden), 
 > that seems like a good compromise to me.
 > So, at the risk of the AB being weeks past needing an answer by the 
 > we get this done, I'm going to restart the clock on having a draft out 
 > a couple of days, using the text above as the point of review.  If we 
 > either silence or explicit assent from other TAG members by, say, 
 > noon East Coast time, I'll send it out.  I really think it's time to 
 > this up.
 > Dan, thanks for your help with this.
 > Noah
 > --------------------------------------
 > Noah Mendelsohn 
 > IBM Corporation
 > One Rogers Street
 > Cambridge, MA 02142
 > 1-617-693-4036
 > --------------------------------------

Best Regards,

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Received on Thursday, 3 August 2006 19:31:11 UTC

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