W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-uri@w3.org > May 2000

Re: A little courtesy, please

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:27:41 -0400
Message-Id: <200005241325.JAA24897@hesketh.net>
To: <xml-uri@w3.org>
Cc: <xml-uri@w3.org>
[process issues]

At 11:58 AM 5/23/00 -0400, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>You can be sure that for XML by itself as an isolated application
>any constraints of other specifications would be a liability. A liability
>for the working groups, who would have to the
>burden of having to accept some decisions of others, and take
>into account dependencies from outside the borders of XML.
>
>It is work. But it is worth it.

I think there are some words missing here, so I'll go on to the next.

>Do you really all, as a group, want to say, as David Megginson did
>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-uri/2000May/0210.html
>that while he has energy to disuss this within xml-plenary
>once it is decided in that forum, he has not the energy to
>discuss input from outside that forum?

That's not a precise summary of what David said in his messsage.  David has
discussed these issues inside and outside of the W3C for the past two
years. I'm not surprised or disappointed by anyone who's fed up with
namespace discussions.  

(For a list of XML-Dev namespace URI discussions, see:
 http://www.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/2000/05/0516.html.  That list doesn't
include arguments about prefixes, scoping, or PI vs. attributes debates.)

>I moved this onto a public list because of an intense desire to see
>clarity behind the technical arguments.  This takes a lot of effort,
>and I wasn't prepared to go to it and not be able to include
>public input or quote the arguments in public.

I'm not sure there have been any 'aha' moments of clarity here, and while I
think you can 'quote the arguments' now, I remain concerned that the final
decision on this matter will reflect a much smaller consensus than the
members of this list and the plenary.

>For me, when I
>hear people say things which seem not to make sense, I want
>to find out how they are thinking.  The result have so far been partially
>successful.  Maybe it will end up with me being convinced I understand
>all the issues and noone else!   

I don't think this anthropological approach is especially constructive,
especially as your director's hat, like it or not, is permanently attached.

It might have been nice to set up this list with an impartial moderator,
directing comments (regardless of speaker) and steering the list toward
some kind of consensus.  

It's been very frustrating watching what appears to be something people can
live with (see the peace and quiet messages, for instance) gaining support
from members of various positions while a small but important group waves
off that position as inadequate to meet their underdocumented high-level
dreams.

>I think so far some things have been
>explained, we are not at all though the process.  For me, for example,
>I was amazed to find that people would think of using "../foo" in a URI
>reference as anything other the meaning of a relative URI. But it explains
>some of the previously incomprehensible messages.   I hope some
>others feel that there has been some light too.

I think I've been putting two to four unpaid hours a day into a discussion
whose creator shows little sign of accepting any opinions other than his
own.  That is remarkably frustrating.

>It would be great if we ended up with getting consensus here of course,
>otherwise the way to decide what to with the specs will have to be defined
>by a process not yet set up.  This is the first time I have done it like
>this.

As I said above, a more formal consensus process might have helped this
work, and I hope in the future the W3C will consider a moderated format on
public lists where 'real decision-making' appears to be at stake.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth
http://www.simonstl.com
Received on Wednesday, 24 May 2000 09:25:47 UTC

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