Re: DOM, Promises, and licensing

Thanks for responding, Jeff. I know your time is limited.

On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 6:06 PM, Jeff Jaffe <> wrote:

>  On 7/12/2013 10:01 AM, Alex Russell wrote:
> Hi Jeff,
>  We have a problem and I understand that you -- and pretty much nobody
> else -- can solve it. That might be mistaken, as might my understanding of
> the whole situation, but that's because there's little I can find to
> outline the thinking behind the problem: Anne van Kesteren is *not
> allowed to edit the W3C DOM spec!?!?*
>  This despite being employed by a member organization in good standing,
> his long service as an even-handed arbiter of technical disputes, and
> previous (generally praised) editorship of the DOM spec.
>  Indeed, it's safe to say that Anne* *is the only editor of the DOM spec
> who has poured significant time into the maintenance of the W3C version of
> the spec.
>  I understand -- but can find no discussion in public or member space,
> why is that? -- that this comes down to Anne *also *editing the DOM spec
> at the WHATWG.
>  This leads to the situation in which the most competent, reasonable,
> invested person in a core web spec is, through your action,
> Reading subsequent posts on this thread, this appears to be a complication
> related to the pre-existing W3C Invited Expert agreement, which indeed
> looks complex.
> It is unclear to me what action I've taken personally to make Anne unable
> to work on this document.

It may not have been your action that created the situation, but only you
can undo it, it seems.

>  Unless you mean that I've not changed this agreement or not changed the
> W3C document license.  I am not empowered to changes these agreements
> unilaterally - although as you know - we are trying hard to gain consensus
> to liberalize both the W3C General Document License as well as the license
> for HTML5 extension specifications.

If I'm following the document chain correctly, this is the operable
paragraph from the Document

No right to create modifications or derivatives of W3C documents is granted
pursuant to this license. However, if additional requirements (documented
in the Copyright FAQ <>) are
satisfied, the right to create modifications or derivatives is sometimes
granted by the W3C to individuals complying with those requirements.

The FAQ adds restrictions<>,
summarized by:

To request permission to create such a work, please inform the W3C of your
intention by sending an message in English to and  if
provided  the comments email list associated with that document. In your
message, state that you agree to the following terms ...

...In the annotated version, you must include the following information:

   1. a statement that the resulting display or document is an annotation
      and the W3C is not responsible for any content not found at the original
      URL and that any annotations are non-normative.
      2. a reference to the original document

 This disclosure should be made in a prominent location...It is important
that no changes in meaning be made to any part of the W3C document
including the Status Section, contributors, or appendices. If comments or
annotations are absolutely necessary within the content of the
specification, those annotations must be *clearly* represented as such. (
example <>)

This appears to be an escape hatch which can be used to give Anne
permission to work on DOM at WHATWG. Would you consent to it if he asked?

>   unable to help evolve it. This might not be fatal for the lack of
> others doing work in this area at the W3C, but that's where we're at:
> blocked on doing substantive discussion of important new features
> (currently Promises, soon Streams) among members who which to use the W3C
> and functioning WGs to convene technical work under W3C rules.
>  This situation is intolerable.
> I agree that it would be desirable for Anne to work on the DOM spec.
>  Looking forward to a response at your earliest convenience.
>  Regards

Received on Friday, 12 July 2013 17:37:14 UTC