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From Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <>
Subject Re: W3C <-> Apache
Date Tue, 10 Feb 1998 21:55:37 GMT
At 11:25 2/10/98 -0800, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

>>That is why I am very concerned about the recent leaks of information onto
>>this mailing list that I rightfully understand have made you upset. The
>>information that I have seen go by did not represent HTTP-NG in a rightful
>>way. I would be happy to help in any way that I can but it requires that
>>somebody from the Apache group signs up to participate.
>You need to be clear on the difference between an opinion and a leak.
>W3C doesn't want any of the work products to be published until they
>have at least a minimum of approval from members.


This is actually not true - a Working Group can publish a Working Draft to
the public or to the membership without member approval. It's only when a
document is about to become a recommendation that the Membership is asked
to vote on it. 

>  I didn't include
>any of those products in my messages, and was careful to describe my
>opinion of what the HTTP-NG PDG is doing rather than including any of the
>actual specs/code that you guys have produced so far.  That is no different
>than what has already been published by the W3C.  I was even reticent to
>reveal that Daniel had done some coding work with the Apache/ILU stuff,
>but that represents his "player ID card" in a group where developers get
>more respect than non-developers, and he'll need that card to support
>any comments he has on the 2.0 redesign.
>As for "did not represent HTTP-NG in a rightful way", I can only say that
>my summary was as close to accurate as possible without revealing any of
>the technical details.  [Keep in mind that I've spent most of the past
>six months researching the advantages/disadvantages of distributed object
>systems versus state representation systems (HTTP), so my summary is
>probably a lot more accurate than your own documents.] To do better,
>you will have to make the technical details public so that they can be
>considered independent of other people's opinion.

I think that sounds very interesting and I would love to hear more about
this. We have actually not used a lot of time on the documents as we have
tried to get the testbed up and running. I hope that we have time to write
some more documentation this spring.

>The general problem is that "The Apache Group" operates by a principle
>of public disclosure of every technical discussion and decision ever made.

That is a bold statement - all W3C results are indeed also made public -
otherwise we would be sued on anti-trust grounds. But don't tell me that
all discussions are taken based on public input and consensus.

>That is a polar opposite to the notion of a member-supported consortium
>where the consortium activities are performed in secret.

No, our activities are not secret - you can go to our public web site and
find information about all our activities. You may not be able to find
everything about the activities but I do think that is pretty normal, even
within the Apache group, or so I hear ;)

>  Ben's problem
>is with how W3C operates, and that opinion is shared by most free software
>developers.  So, while I think you've done a pretty good job in inviting
>experts to join, it is still not an open process.  That doesn't mean it
>needs to be an open process (design by committee is not fun), but you
>will have to expect that people outside the process will treat it as
>suspicious, at least until you give them enough clues to understand
>what it is you are actually working on.

It would be the same if everybody knew everything about your research
projects - it is not possible nor desirable and it will slow things down.
The same is  the case of IRTF and the reality of many IETF WGs as well.

It's all a question of timing. It has been made very clear that when we
have something ready we will go to the IETF and ask for the appropriate set
of Working Groups to be created and continue the process there. We are
currently in the exact same position as you are - we are investigating how
and if this may work and we are actually trying to implement our ideas.

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen,
World Wide Web Consortium

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