Saturday 11 August 2007

Dear W3C, Dear WaSP

Dear W3C, Dear WaSP,

Having been given the odd task of coming up with Technical Plenary material for the W3C, it strikes me not simply a blow but a full knock-out when my colleagues either don’t respond or merely suggest that we let Tim Berners Lee talk about the Semantic Web yet again and let everything in the Web Standards world go on as if the work that you and I do daily didn’t exist.

Fuck that.

Pay attention, W3C and anyone who cares. We have serious problems. On the surface:

  • HTML 5 serialization under W3C
  • Run Time Environments such as AIR
  • Personal agendas overriding agendas that serve the greater good

I call on my colleagues, my friends to talk about this. Oh goodness, and here’s a unique idea. Perhaps the Web Standards Project (WaSP) can stop playing to its own audience and address:

  • The future of JavaScript and its standardization under ECMA considering the Adobe/Mozilla relationship, whatever that is, really
  • The future of markup – for god’s sake why are we revisiting the lingua franca of the web? Doesn’t WaSP or other standards groups have a serious responsibility to hash this out?
  • Moving education forward. There is nothing like teaching people how, because then they’ll go and do. That’s true innovation.

Are you all just dumbed down by the fact you’ve got a job or what? Tell me. Let’s fix it. W3C, WaSP, whatever. We have problems.

Let’s talk about them and figure something out.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 01:40 | Comments (90)

Comments (90)

  1. I would like to suggest that it is easy to confuse “drama” with “passion.” Drama is an exaggerated but FALSE expression. Passion might appear exaggerated, but there’s nothing false about it.

    And there is nothing false about how I feel, and clearly, the mere expression of concern about these topics has caused a lot of unpleasantness here.

    This is a rare experience for me, to see people – many of whom are long-time colleagues and friends met, others readers or occasional visitors, be so snicky toward each other on my site.

    I am leaving this conversation up and encourage positive discussion to continue. I’m taking a deep breath now, and I hope any additional discussion will be productive.

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  3. Molly,

    On #whatwg various people (including me) commented that they don’t understand your point. Could you please clarify what problem you see with HTML 5 and what would need to be done to address your concern? Right now, this post seems to add to the discord.

  4. Berners-Lee:

    I hope you are following this blog post and thinking about the morass that exists. I believe you are the only individual who has the ability to get these issues resolved.

    It is a time to stand up and lead. There is not a business school in this world that would not be very receptive to meeting with you, offer advice, input, resources and solutions. I am sure the same applies to any investment bank.

    Personally, in five years or less, I do not wish to be reading a postmortem on the opportunities missed and the failure of the W3C.

    Looks like a nice day in Cambridge, today. Would be a good day for a short drive to Soldiers Field, Boston.

  5. I don’t understand the rationale for HTML5.

    I don’t see a need for it. I don’t what problems HTML5 addresses. I don’t understand why the W3C see’s XHTML and HTML as being two different animals. I don’t understand why the W3C is resurrecting a fundamentally broken language instead of pushing XHTML usage properly. I don’t understand the weird way of specifying HTML5 that allows for such preposterous debates as the inclusion of the alt attribute. It’s useful, it’s used, where’s the debate? Why is the onus on people to prove it’s used? Keep it and have done. Why isn’t the onus on the person trying to change the existing HTML4 specification to establish why an attribute is harmful? Why is old, old ground having to be fought over again, and again, and again? How does introducing another tag-soup language help the web? Why are the people that can’t be bothered to move to XHTML going to be bothered to move to HTML5?

    Wouldn’t the W3C’s time be better spent pushing XHTML to the people that haven’t yet embraced it – rather than tarting-up an old and broken language for lazy developers to use in the same lazy and broken way?

  6. Lets just let the browser makers go at it again….let them release new ‘features’ and tags they think folks will like. Then, in a year or two, we can figure out which ones are really useful and add them into the spec.

    Obviously, the new way isn’t working.

  7. Wow, someone finally taking a stand.

    – slr

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  9. Comments to this thread are now closed (although ping/trackbacks are still welcome) and you are encouraged to respond to the follow up discussion, Dear WHAT WG and HTML 5 WG. Thanks everyone!

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