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Atom Syntax Causes Filibuster

The following amusement originated from Defining HTML by Tim Bray who had written “Mozilla engineer Rob Sayre tells…” wherein “tell” had this link http://www.imc.org/atom-syntax/mail-archive/msg19192.html attached to it. I followed it. It was—Mostly—informative. It was about RSS feeds autodiscovery. If we take WHAT WG recent discussions and inflate them, we may better understand the complexities of the W3C. And, if we take the Commedia dell’arte “filibuster” passage below and, inflate that, we may better understand the byzantine processes of the W3C.

The Atom Syntax Working Group asked this question on the WHAT WG mailing list:

“Is the order of alternate link rels in a document significant?”

Ian Hickson replied

“Good question. The draft hadn’t covered that. I’ve now fixed the spec to say that the order is important in one respect: the first <link>, <a>, or <area> element whose rel=“” attribute has the keyword “feed” (which might also be implied by rel=alternate in certain cases) is defined to be the default syndication feed for autodiscovery purposes.”

Personally, I find this particular order significance requirement daft. How many web developers know about such things? or, why should they even care given this cut-and-paste Society.

There was further discussion. Mind you. I have never read anything on the Atom Syntax Working Group list; I didn’t know of its existence until Tim Bray cited them in his article. Further, I do not know any of the participants. Though, I have read Mr. Sayre’s WHAT WG messages these many months. Oddly, my first and sole visit with the Atom Syntax WG illustrated personality incursions (which may be one of the reasons for W3C secrecy.)

James M. Snell had the following message after Mr. Sayre had offered several further suggestions (albeit WHAT WG specific.) [Extract] [Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 13:39:44 -0800]

“Ok, so given that I think this is the fifth or sixth note in which you’ve said exactly the same thing [Elementary note: They weren’t.], I think your position has been well established. What would be excellent is if you’d give others the opportunity to weigh in on it before trying so hard to filibuster it.”


Which was followed by Robert Sayre's message [Extract] [Tue, 28 Nov 2006 16:51:13 -0500]

“Huh? I’m not sure what you mean--you send way more messages than I do. I’m merely pointing out facts.”

And, Paul Hoffman (WG Chair) was sent the following message by Robert Sayre [Tue, 28 Nov 2006 16:56:41 -0500]

“This looks like an inappropriate personal attack to me. Surely James has been warned about this in the past?”

And, Paul Hoffman (WG Chair) replied [Tue, 28 Nov 2006 16:19:53 -0800],

“<co-chair-hat value='on'>It may look like that to you, but it does not look that way to the WG Chairs. Please immediately stop posting messages such as this to the mailing list, It gets in the way of the technical discussion. If you cannot stop yourself from posting such messages, please consider not posting any more messages to the mailing list at all. </co-chair-hat>”

[Elementary aside: <co-chair-hat value='on'> seems twee, doesn’t it. Especially, given WG Chair stature.]

That was that!

And, what did we learn?

Sean Fraser posted this on December 6, 2006 01:51 PM.

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