W3C is not terribly quick at getting things done at the best of times, but the public lists are even more so.
All that said, I've never heard of a "hold" before, but then I was only ever on the public lists.
So I object to the chairs' decision that these documents are in scope.
I suppose a formal objection is decided by the domain lead, or appealed to the Director, and the team contact can help with this process? it's not in the special HTML-WG-only process document how this group goes about appealing decisions which the chairs seem to have made.
If I need to use the word "formally" in there somewhere, or if there's some "Formal Appeal Change Proposal" form I'm supposed to fill in, recapitulating all of the email arguments made to date, suggesting the documents "change" by disappearing, and written in iambic hexameter, please let me know.
That quickly devolves into some discussion of possible uses of the word 'formal', the minutes of a phone conference, other emails, typos, and also some serious conversation about whether or not the private lists should be used this way. Tab Atkins Jr. wrote this:
I would like to register my strong disapproval of this entire affair.
This was an abuse of the member-only lists. Any Objection, potential
or not, should _always_ take place on the public list. I am
disappointed in the author of the private emails for their actions.
It really all is surprisingly like the senate, which to my mind is a shame. Having said that, maybe there's some inevitable thing that happens when this many people, much money, etc. are involved.
There _have_ been some private discussions between various people interested in solving the codec problem, but they have yet to bear useful fruit and the spec was unaffected by them. All the objections that affected the spec were public from the get-go.
edit: or, "As a First Public Working Draft, this publication will trigger patent policy review." Is Adobe trying to keep patents on Canvas under wraps?
Perhaps that Flash-not-needing paint demo made them sweat!
At least two members of this team, Ian Hickson and Anne van Kesteren, representing Google and Opera, respectively, have been writing this morning that Adobe is officially blocking publication of HTML5. This type of communication could cause FUD among the community of users, and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Other participants in the email discussion linked by the parent have said that these things have already been determined to be in scope for the WG. Larry Masinter says otherwise. I have no inside information or expertise and do not propose to try to resolve that dispute :-), but the claims being made by (it seems) everyone other than Larry Masinter seem plausible prima facie.
In contrast, posting inflammatory comments on one's blog does nothing more than fuel more fanaticism.
It relates to the whole RDFa vs Microdata argument, which itself is being used as a proxy for the W3C vs WHAT-WG power struggle. RDFa is the W3C’s solution for embedding meta-data into HTML, whereas Microdata is Ian Hixon’s baby. The W3C working group recently voted to split Microdata out of the HTML5 spec, something that Hixon, as editor, was not pleased about. He did it for the W3C spec, but not for the WHAT-WG, thus meaning the two specs are no longer in sync.
Whoever is right, Ian Hixon’s opinion should be only be considered in light of his personal stake in this issue, and his often demonstrated disdain for the W3C and its processes in general. Portraying the W3C as a secretive, compromised organisation helps to drive people toward the WHAT-WG. Of course, the WHAT-WG, being a smaller, invitation-only group of browser vendors, is in many ways more opaque than the W3C, it just lacks some of the bureaucracy around it.
Re the second bit: describing the WHATWG as "opaque" is pretty silly, given how radically open it is.
(PS. Hickson, not Hixon.)
Although Apple's policy is beginning to worry them, it reads more like a HTML5 is a complementary technology rather than a competitor.
Occam's or conspiracy? you decide...
The standards process is basically designed for this kind of hold up.
I will reserve my opinion till some details are made available and not just take the word of hixie who is after all an involved and hence non-neutral party.
They're doing the best they can. We should admire their persistence.
They could adjust them to output HTML5 with Flash fallback, and that would be a Good Thing. But it seems odd to keep on going with a poorly integrated plugin which duplicates the work done in open HTML+JS runtimes available everywhere from desktops to smartphones.
1) eg Flash 'cookies' which don't get wiped when you delete your cookies in the browser.
2) And 'superphones', of course. :-)
Also Adobe was getting a standard that was what they already had and Mozilla had a AS3 VM runtime from Adobe. Microsoft would have been starting from scratch. I don't blame them for blocking it.
(EDIT: If you look at this Apple also marked red to much of ES4: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pFIHldY_CkszsFxMkQORe...)
In the end, Adobe's actions speak for themselves. They are heavily promoting Flash.
I agree that the writing is on the wall, but Adobe isn't going to watch millions of dollars in revenue disappear without a fight.
The game of "You need our special VM here" is over.