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   RE: [xml-dev] a standards story

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Advisory boards, reliable ears (if it is not the job 
of the TAG to listen, is it Tim's job or was that just 
Dan Connolly's perception?), are all the 
same.  Ultimately the Director or some body decides 
to send it back.   Lists that can synthesize the 
positions into a readable whole are desirable.  I've 
seen lots of requests to XML-Dev to look at a specification 
or position and debate it.

The case for XML Schema is not too difficult to 
understand as long as there are alternatives.  the 
problem there is tying other specs directly to it 
if it is not modular enough.  The increasing reliance 
on PSVI does indicate to me that it is, as you say, 
worthy of being in a separate specification.  I believe 
the case for namespaces is similar.

But ultimately I stay with the position that specifying 
and standardizing are separable jobs such that the long 
term health of the web will be best served when consortia 
specifications are nested inside international standards 
when the specifications by dint of implementation are proven 
worthy.  Yes, that slows the rate of technological integration, 
and yes, that is a desirable side effect.


From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com]

On Fri, 2002-05-17 at 11:58, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> 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?

Comments are typically invited with every draft.

> What is the process for handling them?

Comments must (in theory at least) be answered before the spec becomes a
Recommendation.  There is no requirement for how they must be answered,
of course.

>  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?

There's been serious resistance to the TAG having such a role.  The
quotes following are all from TAG members, though the contexts vary - I
strongly encourage reading the original messages and surrounding

Here's a blast from David Orchard:
The TAG should do it's job of making architectural recommendations and
documenting web principles.  The TAG should not and does not have
oversight over the chartering of activities and working groups.  There
is a difference between power over architecture and influence over
charters.  The TAG does need to discuss the impacts of it's works - what
we're doing here - but not so far as to drag an Activity out of it's
home at the W3C.  

A friendly but clear statement from Stuart Williams that the TAG should
yield to WGs:
I also think that the TAG should focus on the articulation of Web
Architecture and arhitectural principles. I think we can help WG's like
XMLP in resolving issues of Web Architecture, *but* IMO the WG itself
must be allowed to own the problem and to take responsibility for its

Here's questioning from Tim Bray on TAG and community consensus:
It is not the TAG's role to ascertain what 
the consensus of the community is.  The TAG's role is to write down how 
the web architecture actually works and to do whatever possible to 
ensure that standards and tools avoid breaking it.

Roy Fielding seems willing to consider such a role, though:
If we are to remain silent on this issue, then the W3C should not exist.

The Advisory Committee also plays a role.


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