Consensus and Community (W3C and xml-dev)

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Thu Sep 2 19:18:46 BST 1999

At 01:01 PM 9/2/99 -0400, Ann Navarro wrote:
>At 12:43 PM 9/2/99 -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>>I'll take that as 'No comment', as the process document for the W3C already
>>indicates that what you describe above must have happened, and as that
>>description provides no further light on a complicated question.
>What do you want me to say, Simon? 
>That Foo Corp's representative gave a 30 minute dissertation on why we
>should have three namespaces, that Bar, Inc's representative screamed at
>him for another 20 minutes, stomping out before lunch calling him a
>pin-head, the rest of us broke out into a scene worthy of the best bar-room
>brawl, and the victor was declared three namespaces based on who's clothing
>was the most intact at the end? 

No - I'd like an explanation of _why_ three namespaces was held by
consensus to be a better idea than one namespace.  If that requires
releasing the minutes, I wouldn't mind, but I doubt seriously that the
decision was based on the relative lack of clothing on various participants.

Basically, the draft changed suddenly - and did so in a move between
Working Draft and Proposed Recommendation, which suggests that something
more than a fight between Foo and Bar is the cause.  Reading between the
lines on this list also suggests that something is awry, though no one will
state publicly what happened.

If you want to put to rest the claims about 'autocratic evil empires',
providing a good _public_ explanation would be a very good step.  On the
other hand, if you enjoy being part of the 'evil empire', the
non-explanation you provided is great.

Does the W3C public relations office handle community relations at all?
Maybe they should be made aware of a growing credibility gap.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer (2nd Ed - September)
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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