[whatwg] The political and legal status of WHATWG

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jun 25 00:49:59 PDT 2009

On Thu, 10 Jan 2008, Brian Smith wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > > 9.) Should HTML5 be put back under direct control of the W3C now 
> > > that they have expressed interest in developing it?
> > 
> > It is "under direct control of the W3C". It just happens that I'm 
> > editor of the spec in the W3C as well as the WHATWG and I'm editing 
> > the two specs in the exact same way at the same time, and am taking 
> > input from all sources while editing both documents.
> In the WHATWG, you have the "Chair" and the "Editor" roles, but in the 
> W3C working group, you are only the editor. What happens when the W3C 
> HTML working group disagrees with the WHATWG? Will you edit two 
> divergent specifications? Are you planning to stay on as the editor of 
> the W3C version after it diverges from the WHATWG version?

The spec still hasn't diverged. Hopefully it never will. If it does, I 
guess we cross that bridge when we get to it.

> There are a lot of people, including some W3C working group members, who 
> would prefer a HTML 5 specification that is more limited in scope than 
> the current WHATWG specification.

I would encourange anyone interested in such an effort to persue it. So 
far nobody has stepped up to the plate to actually do that work though. 
Personally I don't think a less ambitious project is as interesting.

> The time to produce a final HTML 5 recommendation could be significantly 
> reduced simply by dropping features from the specification that have 
> little to do with HTML. For example, the data storage and networking 
> APIs should be moved from the HTML 5 specification into their own 
> specification(s)

This has been done, though not for the reasons you mention. I actually 
don't think it'll make any difference to the timetable; the specs are all 
still following the same timetable as was originally planned for HTML5 as 
a whole.

> and the syntax error handling requirements should be removed in the W3C 
> version.

Making the W3C and WHATWG specs diverge seems undesireable.

> The bias against the XML serialization should also be removed.

I believe the spec is more or less neutral on this now.

> The WHATWG seems determined to "stay the course" on these issues, but 
> there is (more) opposition within the W3C WG. So, some kind of 
> significant divergence seems likely.

Let's hope we can manage to avoid any divergence. It hasn't been necessary 
yet, at least.

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

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