Sigh.


Daniel.  Really.



  1. It’s 2007.  When I said “spring of last year,” I did in fact mean the 2006 Mandelieu meeting you refer to.  There is not some back channel there.

  2. I was not “chosen” then.  Chris said, in effect, “hey, some people think you would be good.”  I believe my response was a chuckle, and a “thanks but I’m too busy.”  A month or two later, I emailed him and said “if the other potential WG members think I’m a good candidate, I guess I could make it happen.”  The W3C guys thought I’d be a good person to do it, I suppose, and the other browser vendors agreed to the choice of me.  I’m still not “chosen” – all member companies get to vote.  You’re the only one that I know of who has objected.  Again, I’m happy to be let off the hook, and I will be excited to participate.

  3. You make it sound like the future of HTML is defined, because I was asked to be the initial chair of the HTML WG.  That makes me really sad, and that you think I have some hidden agenda.  You said “Just drop your current affiliation for a while” – I believe any chair should be, in effect, dropping their affiliation to perform those duties.

  4. I HAVE read your post about why the WHAT-WG started, and I understand and agree, and I thought I echoed your sentiments.  I get it.  And I did not mean to say I was the only one who had told the W3C they were on the wrong track; but they did listen when I told them.

  5. You said:
    “Chairing a Working Group is not only about understanding the whole history of a spec or a technology, for god’s sake. It’s much, much more about being able to stabilize a group of organizations and individuals having often different goals and schedules, being able to control eruptions of proposals and counter-proposals, being able to stay in line with a schedule, being able to say “stop” when a discussion goes nowhere, and being able to “stop” to a Member that goes too far trying to push its own competitive advantage.”

     Abso-****ing-lutely.  You have indeed captured what I think it most important about being a chair – the work that I think is critical, that I thought Lauren Wood did fairly well (other than perhaps the schedule bit, but I don’t think that was her fault), and fundamentally the stuff that makes me cringe because it’s a lot of work that I’d rather have someone else be responsible for.  The only reason I didn’t just refuse and stop there was because I AGREE with you – this WG has to do it right, or HTML at the W3C is a dead end.  I think that would be bad for the web.  If the WHAT-WG had been patent-policy-enabled from the beginning, perhaps I’d feel differently.


    What do you think my day job is? I am a Program Manager at Microsoft. Stabilizing the project while remaining objective is pretty much what we do. I am not a developer (anymore) – I stopped being a developer nearly a decade ago, because I liked and was good at moving projects along.  There are others out there who are much better choices for “someone who has good ideas about the future design of the HTML technology” than me – in fact, I suspect that you are one of those people, Daniel, and I KNOW Ian Hickson is.  But I don’t think that’s what the chair needs to be, as you said.


  6. You said that extensive knowledge of the tech and the market is not mandatory to chair this WG. I must disagree – I think it is, because I think not understanding the entirety of the industry is what sunk the XHTML-2-producing HTML WG – I think they failed to recognize a few fundamental tenets they should have had.

  7. You said “A joke from you about Hixie is not unprofessional, it just shows that we’re only human beings. What a scoop… I just don’t see the problem here.”  Spoken like someone who has never been misquoted and put in a bad light in the mainstream press.  Whatever.  I’m not religious on this point.  I’ll just keep my joking mouth shut and be less personable, then.

  8. You said “I just do not understand why the W3C does not list FIRST the organizations and people ready to join this WG, and tries only LATER to find the correct chairperson.” Great, I’m all for that.  Get a couple other potential WG members to agree, put my name on the email to the W3C along with theirs that this is the way it should work.  I really don’t care.  I just want us to get the working group together and get working on evolving HTML.

  9. You said “…IPR problems or not, I think Microsoft has no choice, will have no choice here.” I want you to understand that Microsoft, and anyone else who might be a target for IP infringement suits, will have to have a choice here. IP cannot be taken lightly as a risk to open specifications and standards.
  10. You also said “I just don’t want the W3C to, again, follow its own ideas just “listening” to the external sources.” There, I think you and I completely agree, and that’s why I offered to help.

I would not even CONSIDER being chair of this working group if I thought it at all likely that Tim Berners-Lee would agree to take that role.  I suspect that’s about as likely as Bill Gates being the Microsoft representative.  Do you want to be chair?  Knowing that the IP concerns are in fact critical, and must be addressed in the way the WG develops specs, but otherwise we’re pretty much on the same goals as far as I can tell?


-Chris


PS – you asked: “what the hell is the mce_href attribute ??? Your prose’s links have such attributes (and empty class…).” – I don’t know.  I expect it’s some weirdness with the community server s/w, or maybe it’s a cut-and-paste artifact.  I’ll try to clean these posts up more by hand.

Comments (38)

  1. Ben Schwarz says:

    Tiny MCE text editor produces those mce_href attributes…

  2. Rob says:

    It’s pretty obvious you aren’t wanted by the W3C as chair and we developers don’t trust you as chair so why don’t you just do us all a favor and give it up?  Just like Microsoft and its browser, you are holding back web development in the interest of getting you and Microsoft’s own way.  In the interest of the internet community at large, please, go away!

  3. Stephen says:

    Rob – utter balls. The W3C holds up the web development community. You need good people with the attitude Chris shows to make the change there.

    From what I’ve read here of Chris’ intentions I think he’ll make a great Chair.

  4. Rob says:

    Stephen,

    Intentions should be backed up by actions and Microsoft and the IE group have not shown good intentions or actions for many, many years, despite the changes in IE7.  

    If their intentions were good, there would be promises and guidelines on future improvements in this browser but the only thing given is vague at best.

  5. cwilso says:

    Rob, it is simply not possible to make those sorts of specific promises.  Sorry.

  6. Rob says:

    Then you can’t promise to be good.  Without timelines or guidelines or "What we’re working on now…" statements, we only have the past to base your future work on and the past is no indication of good performance.  

    Pull your name out of the hat now, Chris.  Someone said you don’t want to do it anyway so we don’t need a reluctant leader either.

  7. Chris,

    I believe that that all of the bruha over you being considered as a possible chair for the WG is due to Mircosoft’s handling of Web Standards in the past. For a long while Internet Explorer was THE browser to use: on Windows AND on Macs. But with the advent of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, Apple creating Safari, the Opera browser becoming free and more individuals shifting to Linux thus using the Konquerer web browser, people once again began to care about Web Standards and what that entailed. And once people began to care, the web dev community noticed that the engineers and the higher-ups at Microsoft did not care and hadn’t cared in a good long while. Now having to resort to Internet Explorer-specific hacks to get things to render the way they do in the other browsers lead most in the web dev community to a feeling of betrayal. And it is this feeling of betrayal that has most not trusting any of the future supposed plans of Microsoft in regards to Web Standards.

    Now of course, you don’t own or control, Microsoft. Not meaning to be disrepectful, but I think most people think that your level of influence at Microsoft is at best mid-level, meaning you can make all of the recommendations that you want as to the direction that the Tritan/Internet Explorer division should go, but ultimately you have no decision making power. So alot of these individuals believe that as far as Microsoft is concerned with Web Standards, it will be business as usual.

    I have to be honest: I don’t envy the position that you are in right now. I know that nothing has been made official as of yet, but already in the past two days you’ve the been the center of more drama than most people see in their entire lifetime. I don’t know you personally, but I get the sense that you mean well and that, should you be appointed Chairman, that you intend to do the best job that you can. I just want you to know that it will be hard for the web dev community at large to accept that the work that you are doing is either a) un-influenced by Microsoft or b) will illicit any lasting changes in Microsoft due to it’s history when dealing with Web Standards and how it has dealt with companies in the past. Obviously the changes that Microsoft as a company would have to make are not changes that you have the power or ability to implement. Heck, as long as Ballmer is still head of the company, even Ray Ozzie may not be able to implement the changes needed to take Microsoft into a new direction.

    All I can say is to keep this open dialogue that you’ve got going and take things one day at a time. In time we will see the direction that this road needs to travel…..

    Frank

  8. Rob... says:

    The fact that the discussion with Daniel is out here in the open gives me more confidence about the "new" HTML WG and you as chair than anything else.

    I also think that the compliance (or not) of IE is irrelevant to how good a chair Chris is/will be. I presonally tend to agree with a lot of the Apple guys’ comments and think that how those suggestions are handled will say a lot about the new WG.

    Regards,

    Rob…

    (another one!)

  9. Daniel Glazman says:

    Chris, your chairmanship is one thing, and again I know who _you_ are, what _you_ think, how _you_ act. I know _you_. I also know how work companies ; that’s not a negative comment, that’s just how it goes.

    My other comments about the Charter still stand, and I still think this Charter is a bad one as it is. Well not that bad, only not enough or unrealistic. I have raised a few points that are important enough, from my perspective, to trigger a negative vote. And it seems that Apple, looking at Surfin’Safari weblog, agrees with me on these points.

  10. Pierre Saslawsky says:

    Maybe the question for you, Chris, is to know how do you think you will be the most useful to the industry: as the highly regarded Microsoft representative to the HTML WG, or as an always suspicious chair?

    During your many years as representative, everybody saw in you the best possible advocate to bring good practices inside Microsoft. Now as a chair, and there is absolutely nothing personal in it, you – in spite of all your goodwill – cannot prevent the lack of credibility of your employer from tainting the appreciation that a large number of the actors and observers will have of your work.

    In addition, your replacement as Microsoft representative will be under pressure to demonstrate the same qualities of a good player that you have shown, knowing that every interaction between the two of you will be under intense scrutiny, if not outright distrust, from the community.

    It’s unfair, I agree, but it cannot be ignored.

  11. Doug T. says:

    I think that most people will let the M-word fog their vision at first.  I think you should do the job because you want to, not just because you were asked.  That being said, after reading 4 different blogs on the appointment I think you will probably do the best job possible.  Now, you are aware of the huge desire people have for what the new WHAT-WG will produce and if it will be something truely innovative AND addaptable.  

    Don’t let people get you down.  Keep the courage up and give us something great to look at and work with in the end.  That will be the only way to keep them off your back.  It is better to have tried and failed then to have never tried at all.  Most of the comments you see are coming from people who lack the experience and understanding you have in this industry.  I say, GIVE ‘EM HELL and do a great job… for everybody’s sake.

    I say let the man do the job!

  12. Mike C says:

    It’s great that so many organisations are working towards compatibility within HTML but the whole argument is irrelevant unless the Flash format is opened up as more and more content is dependent upon this proprietory format and HTML essentially is only a wrapper.

  13. JD on EP says:

    Spec’ing the spec: More cooks may not always spoil the broth, but they do usually require more time to choose what to make for dinner. The new W3C HTML Working Group will attempt to reconcile and modernize HTML, XML, XHTML. The process still needs some

  14. Attila Fehér says:

    Although I do not know Chris Wilson in person, I feel I must post my experiences.  I do not like prejudice very much, so I’ll try to drop some facts into the picture here.

    I attend (as an observer/expert) the C++ committee meetings for several years now.  Our convener is Herb Sutter from Microsoft.  There are other regular attendees from Microsoft and companies strongly related to them.  I list my experiences:

    They are

    – helpful

    – professional

    – hard working

    and personally very nice people.

    I have seen so far absolutely no obstruction from them, or any ways of pushing any agenda – other than making sure that 0x in C++0x won’t be standing for hexadecimal digit…  IOWs: to keep our schedule – which is in fact supported by all the members.

    I can only say that Microsoft is more than generous with this ISO WG.  They have organized several meetings and do financially contribute to many of those that others organize.  Also, in these last years Microsoft has shown exceptional efforts (also means: exceptionally successful ones) in getting their own product closer to the standard.

    So my opinion is that treating Chris Wilson with prejudice just because he works for Microsoft leads nowhere y’all would like to go.  Looking at the facts (like the charter), making it realistic, making sure that balance is preserved (like the Apple comments do) can help.  Listening to Chris Wilson, getting his facts, intentions etc. is also a good idea.  Judging based on reality is always a good option.  Judgment based on fear leads to no progress.

    IMHO the important task is to get the Charter right.  Get it realistic and get it conform to the reality of the needs of the users.  These both are important.  Requirements are based on what users need.  And those aren’t the developers of the engines.  Of course, realistic goals can only be set by taking into account what can be done, so when it comes to prioritizing, those designers are an important factor.

    I am writing this post from Linux using Firefox.  I am programming on Solaris/Linux for many years now.  So I am in no way a Microsoft addict or fan.  However I have several years of experience working/mingling with Microsoft people at conferences and at the ISO C++ WG meetings.  I can only tell you that NONE of the listed concerns have happened in the ISO WG21!  None!  And when Herb became the convener, MS was known about its Visual C++ 6.0 compiler as being incredibly bad at conforming to the standard.  Today MS is a lot closer to conforming and Herb has make a great contribution for the C++ user community by making this sure and to the ISO C++ WG by being a professional and caring convener.

    Sorry for the long windedness, I luck the ability to be short. 🙁

  15. arunerblog says:

    This post is about the rechartering of the HTML Working Group, and AOL’s stance on the subject. Cross posted from dev.aol.com

  16. chaals says:

    Well, I think Chris will be a good chair. I said as much to W3C when they were first talking about an HTML working group. (Sorry Chris).

    A working group without a credible chair is in trouble. And the HTML group is a really really important one. I am a chair of a W3C group, and I know what fun it isn’t. I am glad to have Dan Connolly as a co-chair. He is a no-nonsense guy who wants things that the world will use, and doesn’t mind who he is telling that they are wrong, from Microsoft to my favourite blogger. Two people is probably barely enough for a group like this, and Chris and Dan are two of the best I could have hoped for.

    I am not a great fan of Microsoft’s years without implementing basic standards, nor terribly upset because they have spent time on making money for themselves and others at the expense of cleaning up some things I thought were problems. They are a company, and what they do is make money providing goods and services to people. It seems a lot of people still believe they are getting something worth all that money, so good luck to them.

    I sincerely hope that Microsoft does indeed make implementing more of HTML a priority, like I hope that they get SVG into the browser. But then, I hope that I win the lotto too. Since I buy neither lottery tickets nor any Microsoft software, I will just go on hoping and leaving it to their customers to put pressure on.

    I have seen Chris at work in standards (he was there when I first got involved in W3C a decade ago, and one of the people that spurred me to stay involved). I have seen other Microsoft representatives, and like any other large company some of their people were better than others. I hope that another representative from Microsoft does as good a job as I would expect Chris to do.

    Anyway, enough whining already. It’s been a long time – let’s get on with the work. I wish you all the best as chair, and hope the group manages to find a reasonable way forward with what is  pretty important part of our world. (Hey Chris, have you formally joined the group yet?!)

  17. Asian says:

    I am programming on Solaris/Linux for years now.  So I am in no way a Microsoft addict or fan. Take it easy.

  18. chat says:

    sincerely hope that Microsoft does indeed make implementing more of HTML a priority, like I hope that they get SVG into the browser. But then, I hope that I win the lotto too. Since I buy neither lottery tickets nor any Microsoft software, I will just go on hoping and leaving it to their customers to put pressure on

  19. sohbet says:

    i like this article … i thing same..

  20. Estetik says:

    A working group without a credible chair is in trouble. And the HTML group is a really really important one. I am a chair of a W3C group, and I know what fun it isn’t. I am glad to have Dan Connolly as a co-chair. He is a no-nonsense guy who wants things that the world will use, and doesn’t mind who he is telling that they are wrong, from Microsoft to my favourite blogger. Two people is probably barely enough for a group like this, and Chris and Dan are two of the best I could have hoped for.

  21. I am not a great fan of Microsoft’s years without implementing basic standards, nor terribly upset because they have spent time on making money for themselves and others at the expense of cleaning up some things I thought were problems. They are a company, and what they do is make money providing goods and services to people. It seems a lot of people still believe they are getting something worth all that money, so good luck to them.

  22. bilgi yarışması says:

    I am programming on Solaris/Linux for years now.  So I am in no way a Microsoft addict or fan. Take it easy.

  23. Webdesign says:

    It’s pretty obvious you aren’t wanted by the W3C as chair and we developers don’t trust you as chair so why don’t you just do us all a favor and give it up?  Just like Microsoft and its browser, you are holding back web development in the interest of getting you and Microsoft’s own way.  In the interest of the internet community at large, please, go away!

  24. Tweak Vista says:

    Then you can’t promise to be good.  Without timelines or guidelines or "What we’re working on now…" statements, we only have the past to base your future work on and the past is no indication of good performance.  

  25. Webhosting says:

    Stephen,

    Intentions should be backed up by actions and Microsoft and the IE group have not shown good intentions or actions for many, many years, despite the changes in IE7.  

    If their intentions were good, there would be promises and guidelines on future improvements in this browser but the only thing given is vague at best.

  26. LFERC says:

    A working group without a credible chair is in trouble. And the HTML group is a really really important one. I am a chair of a W3C group, and I know what fun it isn’t. I am glad to have Dan Connolly as a co-chair. He is a no-nonsense guy who wants things that the world will use, and doesn’t mind who he is telling that they are wrong, from Microsoft to my favourite blogger. Two people is probably barely enough for a group like this, and Chris and Dan are two of the best I could have hoped for.

  27. Maybe the question for you, Chris, is to know how do you think you will be the most useful to the industry: as the highly regarded Microsoft representative to the HTML WG, or as an always suspicious chair?

    During your many years as representative, everybody saw in you the best possible advocate to bring good practices inside Microsoft. Now as a chair, and there is absolutely nothing personal in it, you – in spite of all your goodwill – cannot prevent the lack of credibility of your employer from tainting the appreciation that a large number of the actors and observers will have of your work.

    In addition, your replacement as Microsoft representative will be under pressure to demonstrate the same qualities of a good player that you have shown, knowing that every interaction between the two of you will be under intense scrutiny, if not outright distrust, from the community.

  28. Maybe the question for you, Chris, is to know how do you think you will be the most useful to the industry: as the highly regarded Microsoft representative to the HTML WG, or as an always suspicious chair?

    During your many years as representative, everybody saw in you the best possible advocate to bring good practices inside Microsoft. Now as a chair, and there is absolutely nothing personal in it, you – in spite of all your goodwill – cannot prevent the lack of credibility of your employer from tainting the appreciation that a large number of the actors and observers will have of your work.

    In addition, your replacement as Microsoft representative will be under pressure to demonstrate the same qualities of a good player that you have shown, knowing that every interaction between the two of you will be under intense scrutiny, if not outright distrust, from the community.

  29. Telf says:

    IMHO the important task is to get the Charter right.  Get it realistic and get it conform to the reality of the needs of the users.  These both are important.  Requirements are based on what users need.  And those aren’t the developers of the engines.  Of course, realistic goals can only be set by taking into account what can be done, so when it comes to prioritizing, those designers are an important factor.

  30. er says:

    I think that most people will let the M-word fog their vision at first.  I think you should do the job because you want to, not just because you were asked.  That being said, after reading 4 different blogs on the appointment I think you will probably do the best job possible.  Now, you are aware of the huge desire people have for what the new WHAT-WG will produce and if it will be something truely innovative AND addaptable.  

  31. I am programming on Solaris/Linux for years now.  So I am in no way a Microsoft addict or fan.

  32. lol. As long as he doesn’t design any comment forms or make any outrageous, nonsense claims about IE8 passing Acid2, everything will be fine 😀 Not that Firefox 3 passes said test either, I tested on 2 computers and found the nose was offset by 1 pixel for some reason. Total, miserable failure from IE8 beta AND Firefox 3.

    However, back on topic…

    It’s hard to accept that someone from Microsoft could be involved in the standards process. There is simply no goodwill between the web development community and Microsoft employees. Really. We hate you guys.

    How do we know that Microsoft won’t find some way to sabotage it? Maybe saying there should be two parallel and exclusive implementations of some critical point, or polluting the namespace with a lot of proprietary and/or presentational/behavioural junk where it’s inappropriate??

    But I often follow links to messages on WHATWG and W3c mailing lists etc. On the ones where you show up, Chris Wilson, I don’t _always_ agree 100%, but then I’m just me. You are doing a great job AND it is great to have some input from Microsoft. I hope that Microsoft’s involvement in the standards process aids Microsoft in finding the motivation to actually implement modern technology instead of shunning it.

    Based on projects where Microsoft employees are involved, I think there is good reason to believe that this is the case AND based on some of the pleasant surprises in IE8, I think there’s good evidence that Mr Wilson is making a big dent in that horrible, archaic joke of a browser which is IE.

    OK so it’s a great intranet/filesystem browser but we’re talking about the internet here, right? And that’s where internet explorer falls on its face.

    Another good sign is all the noise about proper test cases. They’re absolutely essential given the variations on implementation across various browsers.

    Come on Chris, don’t just bring us the standards, bring us the compliance with it. If anybody can do it, it’s you 😉

  33. Medyum says:

    I have to be honest: I don’t envy the position that you are in right now. I know that nothing has been made official as of yet, but already in the past two days you’ve the been the center of more drama than most people see in their entire lifetime. I don’t know you personally, but I get the sense that you mean well and that, should you be appointed Chairman, that you intend to do the best job that you can. I just want you to know that it will be hard for the web dev community at large to accept that the work that you are doing is either a) un-influenced by Microsoft or b) will illicit any lasting changes in Microsoft due to it’s history when dealing with Web Standards and how it has dealt with companies in the past. Obviously the changes that Microsoft as a company would have to make are not changes that you have the power or ability to implement. Heck, as long as Ballmer is still head of the company, even Ray Ozzie may not be able to implement the changes needed to take Microsoft into a new direction.

  34. medyum says:

    Then you can’t promise to be good.  Without timelines or guidelines or "What we’re working on now…" statements, we only have the past to base your future work on and the past is no indication of good performance.  

  35. medyum says:

    Then you can’t promise to be good.  Without timelines or guidelines or "What we’re working on now…" statements, we only have the past to base your future work on and the past is no indication of good performance.  

    Pull your name out of the hat now, Chris.  Someone said you don’t want to do it anyway so we don’t need a reluctant leader either.

  36. hikaye says:

    It’s pretty obvious you aren’t wanted by the W3C as chair and we developers don’t trust you as chair so why don’t you just do us all a favor and give it up?  Just like Microsoft and its browser, you are holding back web development in the interest of getting you and Microsoft’s own way.  In the interest of the internet community at large, please, go away!