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"Effective Standards Work, Part 1: The Lay Of The Land" by Alex Russell

It's hard to explain how web standards work, or why anyone should care about the process. Kudos to Alex for at least taking a stab at it.

Unfortunately the reality of standards work is that there is a *lot* of politics. And unlike real-world politics, there aren't many leakers. Unfortunately the "real" story probably won't get told until a decade later, if at all. And it might make for a pretty dry read anyway.

Imagine the court of Henry the VIII, but a lot less sex and a lot more paperwork.

Christopher Lemmer Webber @cwebber

@nolan Standards work is often also in many cases too privileged to an elite group. You and I have been able to participate because currently we both have employers backing us, and before that for me I was well known enough to be brought in as an "invited expert" to a w3c group (which is comparatively rare).

I'd still like to see a standards body with a less corporate-oriented form of governance.

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@cwebber In web standards at least it's opened up a little bit, by moving W3C/WHATWG to GitHub and starting community efforts like the WICG.

But yeah the process is pretty opaque/baffling to newcomers, and even if you have a good idea it's unclear whether any implementors (i.e. browsers) are interested in your idea. There's also a lot of NIH.

@nolan I've had plenty of experiences both within the W3C and also with WHATWG where "if you aren't a browser, you aren't really defining things" standards wise, and it seems even more with WHATWG than the former.

That may be fine-ish for some standards that are mostly "capturing what browsers are implementing" but I think there are a lot of other standards to be done that don't fit that category

@cwebber @nolan

I agree. Who would that be?

(I did the standards-work-on-company-payroll for a few years, too, and know what you mean...)