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Re: [Promises/Futures] Media Capture Task Force call

From: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 16:44:28 +0100
Message-ID: <CANr5HFVtrtjz=gn=z_xMqrPE0CgtzjFWe0oN3S8W-4hMQ+zMEw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Stefan Håkansson LK <stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>, Harald Alvestrand <hta@google.com>, Dominique Hazael-Massieux <dom@w3.org>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@annevk.nl>, Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Ryan Sleevi <sleevi@google.com>
Hi Stefan,

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 6:19 PM, Stefan Håkansson LK <
stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com> wrote:

> On 6/5/13 6:48 PM, Alex Russell wrote:
> > Hey all,
> >
> > As part of our agreed work to help coordinate with WG's about
> > idiomaticness and cleanliness of APIs, Anne and I joined the Media
> > Capture group for a call today to discuss the adoption of
> > Promises/Futures in their API. The minutes are here:
> Thanks for joining!

Thanks for having us. I know it was a loaded topic and I appreciate
everyone taking the time, if only to acquaint us with the various positions
and constraints.

> > http://www.w3.org/2013/06/05-mediacap-minutes.html
> >
> > I don't think it's stretching the case to say that the reception was
> > something close to hostile, if not outright incredulous.
> I agree to that people did not exactly embrace Futures. I think it shall
> be seen in light of that the WebRTC is really complex. In addition to
> discussing the API design in W3C space, there is a huge controversy in
> the IETF - involving about four separate WGs - on signaling and
> protocols for setting up the real-time media and data over the network.

I see. I should note for whatever record there might be that I'm hugely
grateful that WebRTC is happening and for the work that your group has put
into enabling this capability in the web. Efforts like WebRTC and Media
Capture are one of the reasons I have hope that our platform can compete.

> I think many are simply exhausted by discussing so many different topics
> in different groups, so they want to minimize changes wherever they can.

I can understand and appreciate that exhaustion.

Everyone would prefer if the platform had grown a Promises contract about
the same time it introduced XHR, but that water is under this bridge and
now all we can do is set about doing the best we can...and that will mean
many changes across many APIs to (finally!) present a unified front. If
WebRTC/Capture can't make the change now, there will be future
opportunities to do so in the future. We only hoped to engage in an attempt
to save you the legacy burden.

> (Regretfully there was also some arguing that Futures might be in
> fashion now but soon forgotten - I think that was beside the point.)

I'm afraid that argument -- which strikes me mostly to be from an ignorance
of common JS library patterns and idioms -- indicates a major blind spot
for this WG. Not understanding that everything from WinJS to JQuery rely on
a Promises (and promise-like abstractions) says more about the WG's current
participants than it does about Promises and their popularity (or

Honestly, this argument makes me want to suggest that other TAG members
should start immediately looking at WebRTC/Capture APIs for other
idiomaticness issues as the WG doesn't seem equipped for the task as
currently constituted.

What do you think the right way would be for us to provide that sort of
feedback in?

> And I think almost no-one ruled out Futures, people more said "let us
> wait and see for a bit".

Which is good!

>  > Unlike some other groups which I've had the pleasure to work with,
> > participants here seem to be worried that a relatively minor change (and
> > a backward compatible one) is a major compatibility risk.
> >
> > Perhaps further discussion of the acceptance of Promises across the W3C
> > might ease their minds, and I was hoping those here with more experience
> > might be able to guide the discussion to a less contentious conclusion.
> >
> > Regards
Received on Thursday, 6 June 2013 15:45:33 UTC

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