[whatwg] The political and legal status of WHATWG

Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) rudd-o at rudd-o.com
Thu Dec 20 06:16:15 PST 2007

> As a web author I have *never* relied on the HTML, ECMAScript or CSS
> specs. What I do is look on 'A List Apart', 'htmlhelp.com' and tutorials
> spread around the web to see the current state of browser support. This
> is my reality as a designer and I do not expect HTML5, in any form, will
> change that.

I have to say that, in my case, I've always relied on the specs, read them 
fully and then tried to implement them.  You usually get a pretty good idea 
of what works and what doesn't.  Not to diminish the value of alistapart -- 
they carry pretty good techniques.

> We can't use not following a standard as an argument not
> to make one, especially when that standard is optional anyway. Can
> anyone guarantee that Microsoft, Apple or Nokia will fully comply with
> HTML5 if we don't recommend a video codec as some have requested?

This is understandably true.

> Since there is some serious inconsistencies in the arguments being
> presented it is hard not to assume this is all just a stalling tactic in
> support of commercial ends (defacto adoption of h.264).

De-facto adoption of unfree codecs will, sadly, happen if the recommendation 
doesn't mention free codecs.  We free software users will continue to be 
second-class citizens on the Web (most free software people able to use a 
smidgen of the multimedia content on the Web are able to do so only because 
we've made a proprietary compromise, which should not have been needed).

Intentions matter.  Special interests should give way to the general public's 

> The argument that we are stuck on is: should we make *recommendations*
> in a standard that won't be followed by all vendors? I believe we should
> and apparently there are precedents for doing so.

If we cannot move to either a MUST or a SHOULD for Ogg in the recommendation, 
then at least a mention in the same vein of JPEG and GIF in the earlier 
recommendations should be included.  Since that kind of mention is not 
an "order to implement" or anything akin to that, I don't see a reason why 
all interested parties wouldn't approve.

> Having said all that I don't want this thread to continue the video
> codec discussion. What I want is a clearer position statement  from
> WHATWG on the publics role in defining this specification.
> Shannon


	Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) <rudd-o at rudd-o.com>
	Rudd-O.com - http://rudd-o.com/
	GPG key ID 0xC8D28B92 at http://wwwkeys.pgp.net/

Now playing, courtesy of Amarok: Michael Jackson - Jam
After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
		-- H. L. Mencken, on Shakespeare
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