confidentiality in W3C WGs

Ronald Bourret rbourret at
Sat Sep 11 11:08:00 BST 1999

Reynolds, Gregg wrote:

> Here is the best you will ever get without an open process:  the reason
> proposition X passed is that it got the most votes.  I'm not making a 
> that IS the reason XHTML got three name spaces, and its the only reason.
> Why doesn't matter.

Why does often matter. Here's two reasons:

* Why helps explain what. As a simple example of this, consider the design 
goals at the start of each W3C spec.  These certainly aren't required by 
the rules written in the spec, which are undoubtedly clear, concise, and 
unambiguous ;), but they go a long way towards setting up the context in 
which the reader understands the spec.

* Why helps adoption. If there's a hard technical trade-off to be made in a 
spec, the result is not going to make everybody happy. Explaining why helps 
people understand why the decision was made as it was and gives them a 
stake in that position. Telling them what only leaves them confused, 
annoyed, and ready to jump ship for something better. Dictatorships and 
democracies both work, but democracies get a lot more genuine support.

Why doesn't have to be directly in the spec, but it needs to be somewhere 
more than in just a few people's heads.

-- Ron Bourret

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