confidentiality in W3C WGs

Len Bullard cbullard at
Sat Sep 11 02:14:15 BST 1999

Tim Bray wrote:

> As a historical note, one big reason why Tim B-L and the guys were able
> to bootstrap the W3C back in '94 was the public self-destruction of the
> HTML3 process over in the IETF.  I wasn't there so I won't comment on it,
> but it's certainly an interesting story. -T.

It reveals a lot about what happens in certain communities in certain 
contexts.  It can always happen.  It comes down to individuals.

What is reasonable to expect from the W3C:

1.  Documented requirements
2.  Documented processes
3.  Documented specifications

I did not use the word standard.  I don't consider the specifications 
for technologies to be standards.  That is a mincing, of course, but 


1.  Never publish or even document the discussions.  People will say
things and take many positions in a discussion.  Even well-written
are insufficiently dimensional.

2.  Publishing votes is reasonable.  It isn't required.

3.  Publishing a document which takes each issue, each assertion about
issue, and the rebuttal points, or acceptance based on common standards 
editing practices and requirements (for example, a call for a change 
must be accompanied by the text of the suggested change plus the issues 
to which it pertains) is well within reason.  We have been sitting here 
inventing technologies which make it even more practical than it was
we started (anyone remember one of the best applications of independent 
links - creating named relationships in texts, eg, asserts, refutes; old 
ideas when Conklin wrote about them).

The W3C cannot expect to avoid this when the community it serves 
expects nothing less.  They want to know why.


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