Provocative language

Well, this is a kicker.

Since I encouraged a person to file a bug on HTML5, when the editor refused to make the fix, I pushed to have the item made into an issue. It wouldn’t be fair for me to do so and not provide a change proposal. However, I was informed that I needed to rejoin the group, in order to file a change proposal.

This is something I don’t want to do. I don’t like working with the HTML WG. I don’t feel comfortable in the group. However, there is no way a person from outside the group, who files a bug that becomes an issue, can walk that item through the issue process unless they are a member. Our alternative is to bypass the issue process altogether and file a Formal Objection, which is a heck of a lot more draconian.

OK, fine: if the only way to file a change proposal is to be a member, because of the patent policy, I’ll rejoin. Then I received an email back from the W3C contact for the group, telling me I could rejoin only on a probationary basis and only if I, to quote, avoid filibustering and provocative language.

Provocative language? Leaving aside telling me to avoid “filibustering” in an email group that can have discussions spanning months, and issues that can take years to resolve, what exactly is “provocative language”? Is this article, where the BBC talks about HTML5 becoming adrift and points to another writing of mine that questions why Apple, Mozilla, and Opera are working against open standards considered provocative language?

Maybe the provocative language is the discussion related to the divergence of the WhatWG and W3C HTML documents, and the formal objection I filed related to this matter? Or it could be because I called the HTML5 effort a mess?

Perhaps the provocative language is contained in this recent article, where I discuss the lack of women in leadership positions at the W3C, the browser companies, and the WhatWG, and the fact that the women are too frequently drowned out in the contentious debates, and seldom acknowledged.

I suppose any one of these could be considered “provocative language”. The question I asked the W3C contact and the co-chairs, when I declined their so generous invitation: is any of this false?

Probation in an open standards effort such as those in the W3C is anathema to open and honest communication. Restrictions to avoid “filibustering” or “provocative language” doubly so.

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