[whatwg] "due consideration"
mjs at apple.com
Fri Jul 24 23:07:57 PDT 2009
On Jul 24, 2009, at 5:03 AM, Eduard Pascual wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 10:04 AM, Maciej Stachowiak<mjs at apple.com>
>> Ian gives more careful consideration and more thorough responses to
>> than any other specification editor I have seen in action. I've
>> commented on
>> many W3C standards and many times I've seen comments raising serious
>> technical issues dismissed without explanation, or just ignored. I
>> never seen that with HTML5.
> Is that really enough?
I think any process has room for improvement. My main point was a
comparative one: I've gotten more concrete sense of input being
considered in the context of HTML5 than almost any other standards
process in which I have been involved.
> <The point>
> I do not doubt of Ian's good faith, nor of his huge effort in making
> HTML5 the best possible thing it might be. However, I doubt of the
> sanity of having an individual to have the final say about any topic,
> even above expert groups that have been researched and discussed the
> topic for years.
> Honestly, I can't say for sure which method would be best for HTML;
> but I'm still convinced that having a single gatekeeper with absolute
> power over the next web standard is, at least, insane.
> </The point>
My personal view, as I've said, is that I think the HTML WG has the
authority to override the Editor by official Working Group Decision,
whether on a single technical issue or by adopting a separate draft
wholesale. Of course, Ian may choose to resign as Editor if this
happens. Personally, I think we are best off if we almost never need
to bring an issue to a vote. And I would hope Ian would do the right
things to forestall such a constitutional crisis.
Indeed, in the past, I have seen many formerly contentious issues
resolved in a way that is satisfactory to everyone. For example,
degree of requirement for alt="", conformingness of headers="", an
author-only version of the spec, presence of the SQL database API in
the spec, and the old version of the WebSocket API, are issues that
used to be debated constantly, but where I think the current state of
the spec largely satisfies everyone. Besides discussion, there are
other things that can change the spec. If there is a feature that
implementors uniformly fail to implement, or that authors widely
refuse to use, then I am confident it will fail. Indeed, before our
final Last Call (perhaps not the first) we will need to prune all
features that have failed to get traction.
So I guess my position is, a trusted person or small group making
initial decisions, followed by discussion, followed by the possibility
of group override in the most extreme cases, is in principle a
reasonable way to work. And I think we are pretty close to actually
following that process, even though many would describe it as more
dictatorial than that.
I snipped discussion of the specifics of RDF and Microdata because
this is not an area where I have either strong opinions or relevant
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