The space around HTML 5 just got more active, though whether what will follow will be an improvement in conditions is hard to say.
Because of a series of discussions in the W3C 2 cents emails list, a process is underway to provide a procedure whereby people can now act as their own editors of their own version of the HTML 5 specification. Eventually they’ll either be able to move their documents into Working Draft status, or petition to have sections in the current Editor’s draft replaced with their own sections. If consensus can’t be met on the petition, a vote will occur. Needless to say, you have to be a member of the HTML WG, but anyone can become a member. Just sign up for an account, answer a small questionnaire and you’ll be in. There’s even a FAQ for joining.
Much of the fervor around this move could be seen as a way of correcting the W3C’s chartering mistakes. Much of it, though, is also by people who are, they say, “tired of the complaints”, and see this as an effective approach to shutting up the complainers.
Though there’s nothing formally specified about numbers of participants on a new draft or draft section, Sam Ruby has requested that at least three people get behind any one work, just so the group, as a whole, can see there’s enough interest in the work to make the discussion and/or vote a good use of the group’s time.
Ian Hickson, the editor of HTML 5, has said that he’s asked for new editors in the past. Asked, and asked again. Well, now his request is being answered.