Surprise Talk

A Personal Story

Disclaimer

Why is it so hard to understand web specs?

2009 Conclusion

Specs are for implementors

 

Specs should prioritize being understood by people who already understand specs

Structural Problem

New features are introduced as specs.

 

People proposing new features ask for feedback in terms of those specs.

The Problem, Summarized

If spec authors reject the idea of making specs more accessible to web developers, and spec authors require new feedback in terms of specs, web developers are cut out of the process.

Demoralized

There are still very few web developers involved in web specs

"Let's try to get more feedback"

"By lowering the barrier of entry to having suggestions and issues about current implementations heard, we hope to encourage more developers with an interest in dealing with standards bodies and browser vendors an opportunity to participate in the process."

"you seem like prime candidates for test writing"

"we need to move on, great discussion we should cover more ground"

kris: write tests

yk: I would be submitting test for things that we can't do but should

js: implementing a feature is 50% writing tests — if the tests are already there we get there faster

james: very much in favour of tests

... they should be in the w3c framework

(global agreement to move in that direction)

We need more web developers to show up and do work

But...

If spec authors reject the idea of making specs more accessible to web developers, and spec authors require new feedback in terms of specs, web developers are cut out of the process.

Attitudes had shifted

We joined TC39

Don't you have to pay?

Github > CVS

What about this?

If spec authors reject the idea of making specs more accessible to web developers, and spec authors require new feedback in terms of specs, web developers are cut out of the process.

So how'd we do?

We still have miles to go

But the overall sentiment is much healthier now

JS Developers on TC39 From

  • Big companies like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Small companies like Tilde, Igalia and Bocoup
  • Frameworks like React and Ember
  • Libraries like Moment.js
  • TypeScript and Flow
  • Babel
  • Node
  • npm
  • ... and on and on

Representation Matters

Browser vendors didn't always see developers as allies

That's a bold statement

Want to get involved?

Ask your favorite framework author how to help them accomplish their standardization goals.

Check out the TC39 proposals dashboard

write tests?

Try features out*

Discuss on Github

"In order for the open web to compete with its walled competitors, there must be a clear path for good ideas by web developers to become part of the infrastructure of the web. We must enable web developers to build the future web."

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By Yehuda Katz

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