10 Dec 2004 Ankh   » (Master)

[update: this didn't make it onto the recentlog page before, I think, for what little it's worth.]

Voted for gnome board, then left for meetings in Boston and Ottawa, and the mail server I share with my brother promptly stopped working. Or more precisely the router where it's hosted imploded. The Internet ate my homework. Must be the wrong sort of snow.

The first meeting in Boston were a W3C Architecture Team face to face meeting in the oddly-shaped Stata Centre at MIT.

The BBC were there filming in preparation for the next meeting, the W3C's 10th Birthday Party. So there was a brief glimpse of me on the BBC news at ten, it seems. I'm sorry if I spoilt your dinner.

The 10th anniversary was interesting, although seeing most of the W3C Team wearing suits was a little freaky. I even wore shoes and socks. Sometimes you have to make compromises :-)

Then we had an Advisory Committee meeting, at which the organizations involved in the W3C, the Working Group chairs and the W3C staff (the "Team") all get together. Well, a lot of them do.

There's a difficult balance in running a consortium for developing open, public, freely available standards. How do you get the stakeholders around the table and also get public participation and buy-in? It varies from technology to technology, and works better in some cases than others. After the AC meetings we had a Team Day, and for part of that we wandered around Boston interviewing people. It's surprising how few people know that W3C does anything more than HTML and CSS, or that working groups have to deal with public comments. Well, sometimes it's surprising, and sometimes it's a reminder that W3C doesn't have a large marketing budget, and the staff don't have enough time to do enough outreach right now.

This week I've been in Ottawa for XML Binary Characterization meetings. We're trying to work out whether W3C should specify a single format for more efficient and compact interchange of XML. A lot of people want this, and a lot of others don't want the inevitable disruption that a new representation of XML might well cause. I'm beginning to get a much clearer picture of our options.

My husband (Clyde) came with me to Ottawa, and tomorrow we'll wander round the city a bit. We ate tonight at the Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro, and I highly recommend it. Reservations needed.

A piece of good news while I was in the meetings: The Canadian Supreme Court's decision means that the Canadian government is now likely to make clear that same sex marriage is legal. It's already legal in several Provinces, including here in Ontario. The previous prime minister, Jean Chr├ętien, pointed out that you can't (by definition) have a vote on specific minority rights, since votes are about majority views. Instead, you have to agree to support minority rights, and then the rest follows. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy, and that, too, is inevitable. The unhappy people tend to be in the majority, and therefore tend to think themselves in the right, but being in a majority has nothing to do with whether people are right, wrong, accepting of others or judgemental, loving and compassionate or filled with hate.


DV, try the Adobe SVG viewer. You may need an old build of Mozilla; I have one that works with version 3 of the plugin, mozilla-2003-03-09-svg, if you want. Newer versions don't work reliably for me.

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