How much are the dogs worth?

Evidently, the welfare of the dogs and the vote of the people are worth $1.1 million to Governor Nixon and the kiddies in the Missouri Senate.

According to a new story from Fox, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Nixon’s 1.1 million request for additional inspectors, on condition that Nixon signs SB 113.

So it doesn’t matter what we’ve said all along—that dogs in wire cages 6 inches longer than they are is inhumane; that dogs that are sick or injured need vet care, not to be slapped with mystery ointment by Billy Bob; that frozen water is not really a treat for dogs; that no, no dog likes to be in freezing temperatures for 24 hours a day, every day; that every dog needs a breath of fresh air…sometime—no, it doesn’t matter what we’ve said, because Governor Nixon and the good ole folks in the Missouri Farm Bureau, the General Assembly, the Department of Agriculture, and the Cattlemen’s Association, why they all got together and worked through a way of pretending to help the dogs, while not really helping the dogs.

Missouri dogs in large scale commercial breeders and the Missouri voters both just got screwed. But it’s OK because the powers-that-be are leaving $1.1 million dollars on the dresser as they leave.

Diversity Specs

W3C HTML WG decisions and the ARIA meltdown

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

One last decision I want to touch on, for now, was the decision related to Issue 129 on ARIA Mapping. In the decision, the co-chairs sided with the change proposal that added new role mappings for several elements. An uncomplicated change proposal that should require only some small edits to the ARIA mapping table.

However, things are never as simple as they seem.

First, the change tracking shows the addition of interesting new editorial comments related to this change:

These are issues that are known to the editor but cannot be
currently fixed because they were introduced by Sam Ruby
acting as chairman of the W3C HTML Working Group as part of
the HTML Working Group Decision Process. In theory we could
fork the WHATWG copy of the spec, but doing so would introduce
normative differences between the W3C and WHATWG specs and
these issues are not worth the hassle that this would cause.
We’ll probably be able to fix them some day, but for now we
are living with them.

In addition, evidently the changes made to the HTML5 spec didn’t agree with the change proposal, as noted by Steve Faulkner. To make a long, sad story short: a request was made to revert the changes and the editor must bring whatever changes he makes to meet the decisoin to the working group, first, before applying to the document.

I’m, personally, less bothered by the editorial errors than I am the discussion about forking. In many ways, this only demonstrates why the license discussion, which also seems to be never-ending, is essential: forking a specification is not the same as forking software. And there’s too much of a tendency among some folks in the WHATWG to want to fork, first, and then work through the issues.

I’m also concerned that these issues will continue to arise, time and again, because folks at the W3C are dancing around the edges of the problem, rather than confronting the problem directly. However, if the W3C does respond assertively, there is a very real possibility of one or more browser companies taking their marbles and quitting the game.

It’s a damnable situation.


The W3C HTML WG decision on RDFa prefixes

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

One HTML WG decision I agree with is the one associated with Issue 120 on RDFa prefixes.

Considering that RDFa support in XHTML/HTML to this point has made use of prefixes, I don’t understand why we even contemplated not supporting prefixes just because RDFa is being ported to HTML5. Frankly, it’s not the HTML5 WG’s design decision to make—RDFa in HTML5 is a port, the design for RDFa resides with another group.

As for RDFa prefixes being confusing, one of the most fundamental design patterns, in computer tech and elsewhere, is the concept of variable/value pairs, with a shorter, easy to type and remember variable or abbreviation used in place of a longer, more complex value.

Then there’s the fact that RDFa has significant adoption, and dropping support for prefixes will break the web. I’ve heard that this is an important criteria for other HTML5 design decisions. If nothing else, consistency demands we support prefixes.

I could go on, but the proposal to keep prefixes does a commendable job and I don’t need to repeat its arguments.