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Re: W3C response to proposed Atom Publishing Format and Protocol (atompub) working group
On May 13, 2004, at 4:49 PM, Robert Sayre wrote:
I work full-time in a job relatively unrelated to Atom, as do many
members of the Atom community who have contributed far more than
Full participation in a W3C Working Group appears to require patronage
some kind. What is the substance of this assurance?
We have a category of participant called the Invited Expert. They are
full voting participants. (Participants from Member companies get one
vote, total, so they can't stack the deck.)
An Atom chair would be able to invite people at his or her prerogative.
The process for being an IE can be put into the WG charter.
While in some areas IEs are rare, in others many if not most
participants are IEs. For example, the groups in the Web Accessibility
Initiative contain several IEs from academia, the assistive technology
industry, and the disability community.
Generally, each participant identified as an individual entity or
company has a single vote. Decisions are made by consensus and will
give the possibility to respect the process that the Atom group has
been able to achieve. Participation in this regard is open to both
W3C Members and Invited Experts from the community.
Could you clarify the phrase "will give the possibility to respect the
I think we meant to say we're not going to take this out of the hands
of the people who are working on it: Atom has matured thanks to the
people who have so far contributed to it, and we want those people to
continue to contribute to it in the standards process.
- XHTML Cooperation
We believe the cooperation benefits to be great, and the coordination
cost will be addressed more quickly if this work happens at W3C.
- XML and RDF experience
...Atom would benefit from direct liaisons with these and
other W3C Working Groups to resolve potential conflicts and influence
As an individual, I cannot assess the validity of these claims. I have
practically no access to specifications currently under development at
Every document (including Working Drafts) on the Recommendation track
is made public on our Technical Reports page:
Furthermore, it's not clear how "potential conflicts" would be
between an open project like Atom and the closed dealings of other WGs.
Would WGs wishing to coordinate with Atom be willing to operate in
While I can't say that Member-confidential groups would go completely
public for the benefit of an Atom WG, we do have liaisons between
public and Member-confidential groups, and have a conflict-resolution
process that is public-friendly, in case of serious problems. In other
words, if their stuff breaks your stuff, you're within your right to
The disposition of comments must be maintained for the final step
before Recommendation. If comments are rejected offhand, without due
consideration, whether from a Member or the public, the spec will
probably be recycled.
While we recognize the IETF submission, we'd like to hear from others
within the Atom community regarding the above points, and more
specifically, their requirements and objectives regarding taking this
to a standards organization. We'd support proposing a W3C Working
Group in this area, provided there is support from the larger Atom
community regarding the points mentioned above and that agreement
about work areas can be reached with the IETF.
Would the W3C be able to commit to a schedule similar to the current
We wouldn't have to commit to such a schedule; the Working Group would.
That said, several of us have reviewed the plans in the proposed IETF
charter, and can map that to our Recommendation track pretty cleanly.
One step, Candidate Recommendation, will be a breeze, given the number
of implementations already out there. (I may even produce one.)
So if the question is, can Atom become a Recommendation in 2005? Sure.
It would take some discipline to do it, but the product of that
discipline would be a standard that's far less prone to fragmentation
than previous attempts.
There was no requirement that the W3C wait until the last minute to
this offer, so expediency is already a concern for me.
Sorry for jumping in at the last moment, but we also didn't want to
insinuate ourselves in the process if we didn't have anything to offer.
It was just a matter of doing our due diligence.
Hope this addresses your concerns.