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From "Roy T. Fielding" <>
Subject Re: W3C <-> Apache
Date Tue, 10 Feb 1998 22:21:38 GMT
>>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.

All technical discussions are public, yes.  The only thing we have ever
done in private is personal, license, or security issues (and the latter
only remains private until we have a patch to fix the issue that can be
applied by affected systems).  We don't allow everyone to influence the
decisions, but we do allow everyone to see the discussion and decisions
being made.

>>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 ;)

The W3C public site does not contain the rationale or the background behind
the decisions being made.  Nor does the Apache documentation, but then
our public is not limited to that documentation.  An interested developer
can read the entire development history on-line.  I think a lot of people
would be more supportive of W3C efforts if they had some way of seeing
the effort, particularly since most of the standards work is actually done
outside of W3C.

>>  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.

Sure, but I'm not the one portraying myself as the organization "to lead
the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols
that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability."  Mind you,
I have done a large share of that over the past four years, but I don't claim
to represent the World Wide Web as a whole --- my own research is therefore
not perceived as a threat to others (as far as they know...muahahaha).

Without sufficient public information, it is impossible to convince
folks that the HTTP-NG project is not yet in the business of developing
an actual protocol.  We both know that, but that's because we both have
access to the discussion archives.


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