Last night I posted an email to list objecting strongly to a post by Hixie. I broke protocol. I ranted, took it personal, I basically called him a fascist, no doubt swore a bit too. But unlike many previous occasions when I've got on my high horse about stuff after a few glasses of wine, no shame this morning, I'm quite pleased I went that far, it really has got beyond pleasantries. Trying on a one-man coup as acceptable behaviour makes my sweariness pale into insignificance.
I immediately got kick-back from danbri, Bijan and the other (list gov) Ian. Danbri made the point that although Hixie might have been into eugenics in the past, he should be given the space to change. Fine - but I see no counter-arguments from those beliefs in recent times. Couple those beliefs with the evidence of a wish to take sole control... danbri quoted Godwin's law at me. In response, I have to say: if it quacks like a duck and, er, steps like a goose.
So onto the meat:
In the first paragraph, Ian associates consensus with the perjorative term "design by committee". That's just disingenous. For standards to even remotely work for all interested parties, those parties need to have some power over decisions. It will be always be a suboptimal compromise, but...well wait, he has an alternative.
One person. I wonder who he might have in mind.
He makes a fair point with "consensus amongst those who bothered to show up", but personally I believe that's a positive, the people that turn up have some kind of commitment to the matter at hand. In fact, here is he not saying "I'm prepared to show up enough that I can take this all off your hands".
Personally I also agree that "[specs] should be designed so that they end up solving real problems" - but isn't that a redundant statement? Why bother if they didn't?
I can see where he's coming from with: "I need to make sure that whatever I spec is something that the bulk of implementors want to implement, otherwise it goes nowhere." The only problem I see with that is, well the "I".
Please don't get me wrong, I do have huge respect for Hixie's brain, for technical stuff I feel C-list in comparison. But when it comes to big picture stuff, I probably have a slight advantage over many folks that spend their days with noses in code. I've seen political machinations in many other contexts, I know an attempted land grab when I see it.
But ok, assuming Hixies motivation is noble (is clearly committed, but I'm suggesting misguided) - there's an easy test. Would he be prepared to stand down and allow someone else to take that place? (noting there are plenty of capable candidates in the WHATWG)
(Comments to G+ please)