[whatwg] Chipset support is a good argument

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jul 6 02:02:51 PDT 2009

On Mon, 6 Jul 2009, Kartikaya Gupta wrote:
> You've expressed something similar in a couple of the other threads as 
> well, and I find it puzzling. It's true that if you spec things that 
> will never be implemented, it harms the integrity of the spec. But on 
> the other hand, if you allow any one vendor to determine what does or 
> does not go into the spec [1], you're are exposing the spec to a much 
> greater risk.

What risk?

> In at least one other thread [2] you've implied that you treat all 
> browser vendors as equal. If you put this together with the veto power 
> it means that any browser vendor, "regardless of size" can get things 
> axed from the spec. Am I missing something? What is stopping me from 
> becoming a browser vendor and stating flat-out that I will not support 
> any of the new additions in HTML5 just to kill off a good chunk of the 
> spec? (Since I am working on a browser currently playing catch-up, this 
> would certainly make my life easier).

Nothing is stopping you from doing that.

> It seems to me that you need to either take away this veto power you've 
> given browser vendors, or you need to draw a line between the vendors 
> that do have veto power and the ones that don't.

I haven't given browser vendors this veto power, they have it regardless. 
If implementors don't implement the spec, then the spec is fiction. 
There's nothing I can do about that.

> If you have already drawn such a line, I would like to know exactly 
> where it is and what criteria were used to determine which vendors to 
> allow and which ones to disallow.

In practice, a browser vendor has to have an installed base of a percent 
or so overall before they can really affect the direction of the Web.

This isn't a decision I have made myself. It's just how the world is.

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

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