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I thought that was why Tim Bray was named the TAG's Ear On XML-Dev.
I can't imagine that the WGs are not aware of the controversies
specs produce outside the W3C. The problem is, at what point does
the check and balance become affective? When are public comments
invited? What is the process for handling them? How far back
will a spec be rolled given these? Is it not possible that
given a "reliable ear", the Director or the TAG or both,
can send the work back to the WG?
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:email@example.com]
What strikes me as most interesting about this is that people outside
the working group effectively had veto power over the spec. If it had
been left to merely the group producing the spec to decide when it
was done, this would not have happened. I can think of at least two
major W3C specs that would possibly have been vetoed if people
outside the working group were allowed to vote, and I can see a few
more coming down the road. External checks and balances are a good
thing. The W3C process is sorely lacking a step in the process where
potential users and implementers have an opportunity to reject an
entire spec and send it back to the drawing board, even without the
working group's consent.