W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > January 2015

Re: Draft finding - "Transitioning the Web to HTTPS"

From: Eric J. Bowman <eric@bisonsystems.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:42:10 -0700
To: Marc Fawzi <marc.fawzi@gmail.com>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>, David Sheets <kosmo.zb@gmail.com>, Domenic Denicola <d@domenic.me>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Chris Palmer <palmer@google.com>, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Public TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20150128164210.e04cd4c47c2498f481958ebc@bisonsystems.net>
Marc Fawzi wrote:
>
> Yes the Akamai connection is a conflict of interest, but you can
> argue the same about browser vendors other than Mozilla driving the
> TAG/W3C ... They do what is in their  interest. 
> 

Could argue that; except my opinion is based on actions, more than words
or affiliations. Or any belief that Mozilla is sacrosanct -- whatever
the extent of AOL's involvement these days, funding comes primarily
from their search deal with Google (or since November, Yahoo). In no
way, shape, or form do I acknowledge Mozilla as the voice of the indy
Web developer.

As to TAG members, I take 'em one at a time; I never had occasion to
suspect any of Larry's positions of having the slightest thing to do
with the best interests of Adobe, for instance. At most, he was the one
member who grok'd what I was saying about embeddable fonts, making his
employment by Adobe nothing but positive, by surfacing my posts on the
subject without having any appearance of undue influence on the ensuing
discussion. Which remains the only issue I've ever taken Microsoft's
side on, FWIW. All in the www-tag archives, vs. meta-searching github.

Here, TBL's in charge, and despite our disagreements I've never held
his position to be the product of executive decisions taken above his
pay grade, and I believe most of TAG's work reflects TBL's influence
more than that of any large corporation, over time with changing
membership. Some of those decisions "go with the flow" I'm opposed to,
without being blatantly agenda-driven. But the "flow" nowadays is so
corporate-agenda-driven, by which I don't mean SMB's, that the only
metaphor I have for it is the TPP negotiations, and that isn't a good
thing.

Otherwise I'd long since have shut up, here. But we get back to that
whole *appearance* of impropriety thing, which perhaps helps us
sympathize with independent developers who've become opposed to the
entire *process* more so than any specific results. To the point where
it's enough to acknowledge conflicts exist, without enumerating them
or assigning names, rather than being dismissive of genuine concerns on
conspiracy-theory grounds in an effort to declare www-tag more noise
than signal.

>
> I find it disturbing that TimBL's opinion on the matter which is very
> inspiring is not echoed by other vocal members of the TAG ... The
> "Director hat off" would not be explicitly noted if "Director hat on"
> wasn't about making compromises with self interested browser vendors,
> but this does NOT mean that everyone on the TAG from Google is self
> interested.  I do find that many have the interest of the web at
> heart.
> 

We can agree on that, while at the same time I could better believe
that contention if TAG members would take it upon themselves to at
least read, if not understand, REST before pontificating on Web
architecture (by which I mean, read the Taylor textbook so we can at
least speak the same language, please). Because I find that when
discussions here do come around to architecture, I'm somehow speaking
Martian nowadays.

> 
> You're hardly the only developer who cares.
> 

Never claimed to be. Just the only freelance, rural Web developer who
cares, and is knowledgeable, enough about architecture to post to this
list. Around here, we like to catgegorize certain things as "big city
problems", but that's the opposite of my connectivity experience.

While I may come across as an arrogant ass, bear in mind my credentials,
where my first exposure to the notion that the Web even *had* an
architecture came in '97-'98 or so when I coded a CMS for a Fortune 500
company (which no longer exists) using LiveWire/SSJS. Which pointed to
a document called "HTTP Request Object" in its help files, to explain
the difference between GET/HEAD/PUT/POST etc. Took me another decade to
understand REST.

For years, I pointed to that as an example of "I'm not always right"
and nobody went against my self-deprecation, or scoffing at the very
notion of using Javascript on the server, to code a CMS.

But it turns out, since V8/node.js, that I wasn't wrong after all. So
perhaps my conservative approach to Web architecture (i.e. Taylor
school, i.e. "Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory and Practice"
should be required reading for TAG members) may be excused, even when
it rankles those who just want to make "progress".

> 
> Again, not implying that all those who work for Google are conspiring
> to push Google's interest. Many have good and self less intent.
> 

Which would be much easier to buy into, if the companies they work for
hadn't been caught with their pants down so many times, subverting the
best interests of the Web in favor of their quarterly bottom lines. I'd
love to fade away, instead of sticking it out in the name of vigilance,
on this very point. But maybe the fact that nothing I have to say here
begins to have anything to do with ranching dudes, makes me more,
rather than less, credible. I *don't* have a horse in this race, but I
am in an excellent position to referee by calling 'em as I see 'em.

-Eric
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 23:42:52 UTC

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