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   Re: [xml-dev] W3C Conspiracy Theories

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Arjun Ray writes:

 > Sure.  Which, unfortunately, is part of my larger point.  I believe that
 > an unconscionable amount of time and energy of many good people was wasted
 > on having to produce something on Namespaces regardless.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I don't remember quite that attitude
in the WG.  Certainly some of us (including me) were pissed off at the
late change, but my impression was that most of us believed we were
still producing a worthwhile spec and that it was still the most
important task we had in front of us.

 > The WG was not allowed to say to the W3C: "we have more important things
 > to think about".

We weren't?  Certainly, we had to consider the needs of other WG's --
XSLT and XHTML, for example, couldn't go to REC without Namespaces --
but I don't remember having our agenda dictated to us by a power on
high.  The W3C director has a significant amount of power -- he
approves the charter, chooses the staff rep for the WG, and can veto
any spec before it goes to REC -- but he does not choose the WG
membership or set its agenda, at least not when I was there.

It is true that individuals in the WG had different priorities -- some
of us wanted to work on query, some on infoset, etc. -- and that's why
we did the reorg in August 1998, for better or for worse.  I ended up
chairing the XML Core WG for a few months, and experienced very little
(if any) pressure from up high.

 > | Can you name anyone from the original XML WG who asked to be involved 
 > | in the new XML plenary but was not allowed to be?
 > That wasn't the point.  The point was not asking at all.  As in, give up
 > and move on.

That's hardly the W3C's fault, though.  Eliot Kimber quite the XML WG
before the reorg, and Tim Bray, Jon Bosak, and I all left the XML
Activity individually afterwards, but those were all personal choices,
not departures orchestrated by the W3C.

 > No one is suggesting conspiracy theories.  It's about how W3C Process
 > works.  Some people get their way.  Others may lie in the road for a
 > while, but usually they find better things to do.

That's pretty much true of any work -- go to Slashdot and read about
the internal politics of some of the big Open Source projects, which
make the W3C look quite tame.

All the best,


David Megginson, david@megginson.com, http://www.megginson.com/


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