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   Re: [xml-dev] a standards story

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On 17 May 2002 at 12:03, Ann Navarro wrote:
> "People outside the working group" are indeed allowed to vote (on the 
> entirety of the spec), that's how the voting process works, the AC reps 
> approve, reject, reject with provisions, or approve with suggestions.

Ann is completely correct. In theory, the W3C member companies could 
completely reject any given specification, disband the WG, and tell W3C not 
to put any more resources into it. And it has been known for individual 
member companies to vote against particular recommendations, though I 
don't know of any that have been entirely rejected. Member companies could 
equally demand that the entire specification be completely reworked.

This tends not to happen, I think for a couple of reasons.

1) the companies that care about the details tend to already be part of the 
WG. Once on the WG, there's a powerful tendency to not "rock the boat" too 
much and any number of reasons for people who disagree with the direction 
the work is going to either keep quiet or leave the WG. In a large WG it's 
hard to make sure that everyone's voice is heard.

2) There's a tendency to say "any spec is better than none"; this is 
sometimes even true! It's hard to figure out the trade-off between delaying the 
spec and having people implement their own interoperable versions, and 
coming up with something better given more time. For one thing, often the 
question becomes "is this better, or just different"? 



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