[whatwg] public-html list

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jan 10 18:37:51 PST 2008

On Sat, 15 Dec 2007, Shannon wrote:
> > > 
> > > Ok so I found the other list (public-html at w3c.org). Nokia state 
> > > their reasons and clearly it was discussed (at Cambridge apparently)  
> > > but why two lists for one standard?
> > 
> > Historical reasons -- the W3C initially wasn't interested in doing 
> > HTML5, so we started in the WHATWG (back in 2004), but earlier this 
> > year the W3C decided to also work on HTML5 and adopted the WHATWG 
> > spec, and now the two groups work together on the same spec.
> I imagine this must generate a lot of cross-posting and confusion.

Very little, actually.

> Are there plans to merge the groups?

Not especially. There are people who for a number of reasons are unable to 
join the W3C group, and there are others who are unable to join the WHATWG 
group. As editor in both groups I take all input into account anyway -- 
and there are far more places where input on HTML5 is sent than just these 
two mailing lists (e.g. blogs, www-html at w3.org, forums, direct mail, 
meetings, etc).

> Which group has authority in the event of a dispute or is that unknown?

I don't really understand what kind of dispute would happen. I take 
feedback from everyone when editing the spec, and there is only one actual 
spec that I edit. I don't look at where the feedback is coming from when 
dealing with technical arguments.

> My spider-senses tell me we're going to end up with 2 HTML5's.

Well, I'm editing both specs, and I can guarentee that as long as I edit 
both, that they will either remain identical, or that the WHATWG one will 
be a superset of the W3C one. In practice this hasn't been a problem so 
far. (In practice, also, even if we did somehow merge the two groups, if 
the resulting group started doing ridiculous stuff without responding to 
feedback, then a new group would likely end up being formed to take up the 
job. That's pretty much how all the WHATWG started back in 2004.)

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

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