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Re: Normative status of author-only view of the HTML5 specification

From: Cameron Heavon-Jones <cmhjones@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 22:24:17 +0100
Cc: Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <968831E4-F775-4D08-967C-033BD61633B6@gmail.com>
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>

On 10/06/2011, at 8:20 PM, Aryeh Gregor wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 3:45 AM, Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz> wrote:
>> I think that it would be better to shutdown WHATWG version (ie. make
>> "living stabdard" dead ;-) and have only one version for reference at
>> W3C.
> Other people think it would be better to get rid of the W3C version
> and keep only the WHATWG version, so we're at a bit of an impasse.

They both exist and will continue as long as there is interest in them. Either organisation can not get rid of the other specification as they are effectively forks, albeit in a strange turn of events which means they have the same editor and contributors.

There is nothing wrong which having more than one organisation working towards making html better, the problem is if it introduces confusion for implementers or users which it most certainly does, myself included.

Personally, i refer and work from the official specification as it stands, w3c, because i know that it is the spec which will be implemented and, while it is still in flux, it is the one i can rely on the most to be the closest to what will eventually become standard in the years to come.

>> Maybe W3C people who make deal with WHATWG or those W3C members who are
>> also WHATWG members could explain to rest of us why spec is published on
>> two places, with slightly different content and why this is the best
>> status quo.
> It's not, nobody likes it.  But those who prefer the W3C version don't
> want it to be axed in favor of the WHATWG version, and those who
> prefer the WHATWG version don't want it to be axed in favor of the W3C
> version.  Neither side is in a position to overrule the other one, so
> we have no realistic way out for the foreseeable future.

I don't think either needs to be axed, i think the roles of both need to be agreed and understanding reached so that they can work together in harmony.

To me, WHATWG represents the bleeding-edge. It's the most up to date and generates the most lively debate for discussion about what *might* become. 

The W3C, with all it's rules and procedure, produces the specification which *can* be implemented. Without the structure, accountability and formal processes it would be impossible to achieve anything even remotely close to consensus which is the whole point of a specification.

> Reasons that some people prefer the WHATWG version include (but are
> not limited to) that it's unversioned, and it's not subject to HTMLWG
> decisions.  Reasons that some people prefer the W3C version include
> (but are not limited to) that it's versioned, and it's subject to
> HTMLWG decisions.
> But discussion in this vein is unlikely to be productive, so I won't
> continue on this list beyond this single post.

Unfortunately the issue must be resolved for the good of html, which is in everyone's interest.

I don't think that the W3C requires any change, i think that WHATWG should accept that it is not a standards body and continue to provide the forum for creativity and collaboration to fuel the standards of the future.

cameron jones
Received on Friday, 10 June 2011 21:24:50 UTC

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