"Effective Standards Work, Part 1: The Lay Of The Land" by Alex Russell infrequently.org/2018/06/effec

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.

@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.

@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. wicg.io/

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

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