[whatwg] A New Way Forward for HTML5 (revised)

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Sun Jul 26 20:58:44 PDT 2009

On Jul 26, 2009, at 9:27 PM, Manu Sporny wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> I would also caution that, by their nature, standards projects are  
>> not
>> quite the same thing as software projects. While the way HTML5 has  
>> been
>> run is much more in the spirit of open source than many past Web
>> standards, I'm not sure all the lessons can be applied blindly.
> I don't think that the lessons should be applied blindly... I think  
> they
> should be applied selectively and with great care. We don't want to
> destabilize the way HTML5 is currently being developed - but we do  
> want
> to improve the process for giving feedback, get more people making
> meaningful contributions, make the process of contributing more
> harmonious and hopefully accelerate the speed at which features can be
> developed. These are all direct or implied goals in the Restructuring
> HTML5 proposal[1].

The lesson I would learn from open source is that finding people  
willing to do useful work is much more important than tools or project  
organization. While good projects strive to refine their process, my  
experience is that people who start out by asking project-wide tools  
or process changes to enable their contribution rarely turn into  
valuable contributors. On the other hand, people who start out by  
making substantive contributions within the existing process often  
have excellent insights into how to improve the process and tools from  
there. That's not to say this is universal - just what my experience  
has been in ~14 years of open source development on various projects.


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