[whatwg] Patent Policy and Process

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jun 14 04:34:06 PDT 2004

On Mon, 14 Jun 2004, Jim Ley wrote:
>>> It doesn't actually matter though if someone is being ignored right?
>> I don't really understand what you are asking for.
> Simply clarity and an agreement that's there's no defined process for
> public comments and the result of this work is purely the result of the
> decisions of the Working Group, and if they choose to listen to the
> mailing li st.

Only insofar as the W3C has "no defined process for member comments and
the result of this work is purely the result of the decisions of the
Director, and if they choose to listen to the members".

Which I guess is one way to describe the W3C, although not the way I would
personally think reflects the reality.

Just like the W3C Director, the WHATWG members do reserve the right to
overrule anything decided by the contributors and the editor. However, in
practice, there is very little reason for them to do so, since all the
work is done by the editor based on comments in the mailing list.

>> I really don't understand what you mean by "proprietary" in this context.
>> The work here is not "owned by a private individual or corporation under a
>> trademark or patent",
> It's owned by 7 private individuals as a collective, and we don't know about
> the trademark or patent encumbarances of those.  I don't agree it's open.

Fair enough.

> > nor is it "a product not conforming to open-systems standards,
> So you're saying that Web Forms 2.0 will not have any incompatibilities
> with existing open-system standards, including W3 ones?  At the moment
> the draft is non-conformant to many of those, it's good to know they'll
> be changed.

If there are any incompatibilities, please bring them up. (I haven't yet
gotten to your comments, so maybe you already have, in which case,

> > As I understand it, W3C process states that members are not allowed to
> > announce that they are going to submit work to the W3C.
> Which of the 7 Members are members of the W3C ?  (I know your companies
> are, but you keep telling us you're individuals working outside of the
> companies.)

I don't understand how it matters whether we are members or not.

> > "Each document shall have an assigned editor. Editors should reflect the
> > consensus opinion of the working group when writing their specifications".
> > Is that unclear?
> Nope, that's not unclear in the slightest, but you said:
> | Because specs that are designed by committee largely suck. In fact of all
> | the specs I've been involved with, I can pretty much state categorically
> | that all those that were written by a single editor taking input from
> | others but being basically autonomous are better than all those where the
> | design was driven by committees and votes.
> Which I see as very different as the wording in the charter, and that WHATWG
> using the committee method seems strange as you've said it designs worse
> specs, than having the single editor authoring it.

There is a difference between design by committee, where everyone brings
their favourite idea to the table and they all go into the spec, and a
single editor writing a spec with input from others in such a way as to
get concensus.

So far, with the rather large spec we already have, there hasn't been a
single case where the members have had to have a vote on anything.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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