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RE: Web Philosophy

> Even to conceive of the phrase "backwards-compatible evolution"
> (http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlp-reqs/ R702) requires a rare blend of
> stupidity and ignorance.

I'm not one of the W3C's biggest fans, but this is going a bit far. There
are a lot of pathologies there, but "stupidity and ignorance" are
exceedingly rare.

Let's look at the whole paragraph in question:

"R702 Requirement for Evolution

The XMLP specification must define the concept of protocol evolution and
define a mechanism or mechanisms for identifying XMLP revisions. This
mechanism or mechanisms must ensure that an XMLP processor, by simple
inspection of an XMLP envelope, may determine whether or not the envelope is
compatible with its processing ability. The specification must define the
concepts of backwards compatible and backwards incompatible evolution."

In retrospect I'd have to agree that this last sentence is not particularly
elegantly worded. Mine are among the pairs of eyes that should have noticed
the inelegance some time ago.  BUT c'mon ... is the meaning of the
requirement really THAT unclear?

For that matter, remember that the XML Protocols working group -- unlike all
other W3C WGs -- conducts its business primarily in public (on the
xml-dist-app mailing list).  Anyone here could have flagged and flamed this
weeks ago.  The Protocols WG is at least *attempting* to learn from the
adverse feedback the W3C has gotten about some of its previous efforts.
Those who value openness, avoidance of the "not invented here" syndrome, and
a commitment to keeping specs as simple as possible may wish to participate
... it will be an eye-opening experience to try to craft clear, concise,
"normative" prose in real time, I guarantee you.