We are a very disparate group here, coming from many different backgrounds, many with a very particular focus.
Consensus, as you say, is difficult and indeed impossible. Consensus in a variety of smaller areas seems feasible. For a more comprehensive approach, there will need to evolve some decision process with something like a "chief architect".
One of the worst dangers here is that support from a commercial supplier of browsers will be necessary, and they will be motivated to run away with early and incomplete approaches.
Maybe the exercise can be organized usefully though.
Organization is fundamental and I'm sure will, and certainly must, evolve in unforeseeable ways. The following illustrates one possibility for a general framework.
As a starting point there seems to be two fundamentally different camps; both useful, but in quite different ways, but needing separate areas of development:
* Those who advocate incremental, evolutionary and reasonably compatible change in a variety of areas.
Here what is needed is a series of topics that can be easily created and evolved towards some sort of formal recommendation. Here only partial consensus is needed; e.g., I suspect two, hopefully complementary, approaches for comments will evolve.
* Those who advocate radical, revolutionary change, albeit with compatibility considerations.
Here there needs to an outline of topics to be developed.
The latter is more difficult. Separate topics for objectives, requirements, specifications, design principles, design issues, document guidelines etc. is an obvious starting point. In the long run, these can evolve from discussion entries to an area for formal resolution and public documentation.
A single outline of separate topics for a unified and complete specification set is more complicated. In my own notes, I find it difficult to focus on one topic without referring to many others. For instance, concepts of modularity, inheritance, referencing in general, links, path expressions, queries, (replacing) namespaces, packages, templates, etc. all become bound together.
I would not be surprised to see several outlines of topics evolving, each attempting to be complete and comprehensive from a different perspective. These should be allowed to evolve freely. This would then be complemented by a rigorous integration effort to tie the best of all the topics into a coherent whole.
This is only one possibility for part of the website, but it can combine the best of two development approaches; i.e., a wide variety of inputs with integration by a small set of individuals.
In a message dated 12/5/2010 7:57:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
I suspect that's a little premature. It's not enough to agree that