At this point I am really confused about where to discuss geolocation APIs, and I would rather not have it bounce back and forth. Maybe we should just wait until the chartering process reaches its conclusion.


On Jun 3, 2008, at 7:24 AM, Doug Schepers wrote:

Hi, Ian-

Ian Hickson wrote (on 6/3/08 6:04 AM):
On Mon, 2 Jun 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
Matt Womer and I have started a new email list for discussing geolocation. The new list, public-geolocation [1], will be archived, and the intent is for it to be the public list for the planned Geolocation WG:
Could we please keep the discussion to this group? It seems like most people on this group agree that the work should happen in this group, and it would be very confusing to have to move stuff back and forth, especially if the charter proposal for geo fails, as seems likely given several browser vendors have requested that it stay in this group.

I appreciate that sentiment, and I see the browser vendors as a vital constituency in a successful Geolocation API specification. However, they are not the only stakeholders.

To make this a truly open and universal API with broad uptake, we want to cultivate the participation of other industries in addition to browser vendors; camera manufacturers, GPS vendors, car makers, mobile phone operators, other standards bodies, etc. While some of them may have no direct interest in an API, they are likely to have insight into other aspects of geolocation that will inform an effective API. Many of them have shown interest in this in the past.

From an IPR perspective, in order for a large company (or other organization) to get involved in the WG, they would have to do a wide-ranging (and lengthy and expensive) patent search. To join the WG, the company's patent search would have to cover *everything* that the WebApps WG is doing, not just geolocation. As you know, geolocation itself is a very mature technology, and there are hundreds of patents regarding its minutiae; if it turns out that the work we do ends up being contentious and spawning a PAG (Patent Advisory Group), it is better that it be isolated and not slow down the work going on in the rest of the WebApps WG.

In addition to this, the vast majority of topics and emails on this list will not concern these other folks at all; it is rather overwhelming to get involved in such a high-traffic (and frankly contentious) list, especially if you aren't already in Web standards culture.

So, regardless of where the actual deliverable ends up, it is therefore better to have a dedicated mailing list, for exactly the reason you state: it's confusing to have it move around, and keeping it on one list devoted to the topic will be much easier to track. If it happens that the Geolocation WG chartering fails, then the list can simply be attached to the WebApps WG. Easy.

There is no additional burden on the WebApps WG participants to subscribe to one more list (or join one more WG), and there is a substantial burden on other interested parties in monitoring the public WebApps list. Seems like a clear choice to me.

So, I'd respectfully ask that geolocation topics be conducted on public-geolocation, rather than slowing down the technical discussion by debating where we should be doing the work.

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI

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