Proposal to work on Geolocation

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Proposal to work on Geolocation

Ian Hickson


Hi,

Google would like to volunteer some resources to work on a specification
to provide a Geolocation API for the Web platform. Does anyone on the
working group think we should not work on this? If not, please consider
this a formal proposal from us to adopt a Geolocation API as a work item.
Since we need broad working group agreement to add a work item, I propose
that we set a deadline of June 4th for dissent, though as Chaals always
says, positive assent would be preferred. :-) Chaals, could you do the
honours of making this formal? Thanks!

Background:
   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapi/2008Mar/0011.html
   http://code.google.com/p/google-gears/wiki/GeolocationAPI

Cheers,
--
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Arun Ranganathan-3

Ian said:

>Google would like to volunteer some resources to work on a specification
>to provide a Geolocation API for the Web platform. Does anyone on the
>working group think we should not work on this? If not, please consider
>this a formal proposal from us to adopt a Geolocation API as a work item.
>Since we need broad working group agreement to add a work item, I propose
>that we set a deadline of June 4th for dissent, though as Chaals always
>says, positive assent would be preferred. :-) Chaals, could you do the
>honours of making this formal? Thanks!


Consider this positive assent from Mozilla :)  We're interested in this work item, and would like to see if our proposal[1] can be a clean subset of the Google proposal.  Mozilla also volunteers resources to work on it.

-- A*
[1] http://azarask.in/blog/post/firefox-geolocation-js-library/


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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Olli Pettay
In reply to this post by Ian Hickson

Ian Hickson wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> Google would like to volunteer some resources to work on a specification
> to provide a Geolocation API for the Web platform.
Sounds great!

> Does anyone on the
> working group think we should not work on this? If not, please consider
> this a formal proposal from us to adopt a Geolocation API as a work item.
Just wondering why WebAPI WG and why not UWA[1]?
How is this work, or is it, related to DCCI[2]?


br,

Olli

[1] http://www.w3.org/2007/uwa/Activity.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/DPF/

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3
In reply to this post by Ian Hickson

Hi, Ian-

Thanks for this proposal.

I strongly believe that W3C should be working on this, and over the last
few weeks, Mike Smith and I have been talking to key vendors and other
parties to bring together the proper resources to do this, including
some discussion at Google.  We have identified several interested parties.

In fact, I proposed on the WebApps WG charter to add this deliverable.
However, the Advisory Committee's review of the charter indicated that
the Membership wants this to happen in a dedicated Geolocation API WG.

The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team
resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something
formal soon.

Rest assured that Mike and I are intent on ensuring that there is no
scope creep for this API, and that the Geolocation API WG will take a
pragmatic, vendor-aware approach, and will act quickly.

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

Ian Hickson wrote (on 5/27/08 4:39 PM):

>
> Hi,
>
> Google would like to volunteer some resources to work on a specification
> to provide a Geolocation API for the Web platform. Does anyone on the
> working group think we should not work on this? If not, please consider
> this a formal proposal from us to adopt a Geolocation API as a work item.
> Since we need broad working group agreement to add a work item, I propose
> that we set a deadline of June 4th for dissent, though as Chaals always
> says, positive assent would be preferred. :-) Chaals, could you do the
> honours of making this formal? Thanks!
>
> Background:
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapi/2008Mar/0011.html
>    http://code.google.com/p/google-gears/wiki/GeolocationAPI
>
> Cheers,

--

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3
In reply to this post by Olli Pettay

Hi, Olli-

Olli Pettay wrote (on 5/27/08 4:57 PM):
>
> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>
>> Google would like to volunteer some resources to work on a specification
>> to provide a Geolocation API for the Web platform.
>
> Sounds great!

Yes, we're hoping that Google joins the dedicated Geolocation API WG
(when it forms, assuming there's no unforeseen difficulties).


> Just wondering why WebAPI WG and why not UWA[1]?

It would have been logical to work on it in WebApps, since it is a
client-side API, but it is admittedly a complicated subject (especially
in terms of the IPR), and it won't hurt to have it in a dedicated WG.
Obviously, anyone in this WG is also welcome to join the Geolocation API WG.


> How is this work, or is it, related to DCCI[2]?

Only related by subject.  There is some work on geolocation in DCCI, but
it is more generic, and currently they are working only on the ontology.
  The Geolocation API WG is intended to work specifically on a
client-side API.

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

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Maciej Stachowiak
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3


On May 27, 2008, at 2:01 PM, Doug Schepers wrote:

>
> Hi, Ian-
>
> Thanks for this proposal.
>
> I strongly believe that W3C should be working on this, and over the  
> last few weeks, Mike Smith and I have been talking to key vendors  
> and other parties to bring together the proper resources to do this,  
> including some discussion at Google.  We have identified several  
> interested parties.
>
> In fact, I proposed on the WebApps WG charter to add this  
> deliverable. However, the Advisory Committee's review of the charter  
> indicated that the Membership wants this to happen in a dedicated  
> Geolocation API WG.
>
> The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team  
> resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something  
> formal soon.
>
> Rest assured that Mike and I are intent on ensuring that there is no  
> scope creep for this API, and that the Geolocation API WG will take  
> a pragmatic, vendor-aware approach, and will act quickly.

I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory  
Committee mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C  
decision on this point. As Team contact, could you please explain who  
made this decision and on what basis?

Regards,
Maciej


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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3

Hi, Maciej-

Maciej Stachowiak wrote (on 5/27/08 5:38 PM):
>
> I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory Committee
> mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C decision on this
> point. As Team contact, could you please explain who made this decision
> and on what basis?

There was a substantive AC Representatives review comment regarding this
deliverable, but it was a Team-only comment, and thus there's not much I
can say about it.  It's not my favorite way of operating, and I wish I
could say more, but at the same time, I have to honor Member
confidentiality.

You can see my original charter proposal here (an earlier draft that
includes the Geolocation API):
   http://www.w3.org/2007/12/WebApps-Charter/WebApp-Charter-2007-proposed
   http://www.w3.org/2007/12/WebApps-Charter/webapps-deliverables.html


I want to reiterate that W3C is *not* dropping the Geolocation API... we
merely propose to move it to a dedicated WG.  I am ambivalent about this
myself: on the one hand, I think there is considerable momentum and
interest in doing this in the WebApps WG; on the other, it's a subject
that many Members may want to join, who are not necessarily interested
in other WebApps deliverables.

There is something to be said for having a subject covered exclusively
by a dedicated WG with a manageable mailing list load, too. :)

Again, we are actively encouraging all interested parties to join this
new Geolocation WG, and we will expedite its creation as far as we can.
  Don't panic. :)

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

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Ian Hickson
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3

On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
>
> The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team
> resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something
> formal soon.
>
> Rest assured that Mike and I are intent on ensuring that there is no
> scope creep for this API, and that the Geolocation API WG will take a
> pragmatic, vendor-aware approach, and will act quickly.

Sure, the proposal to work in the Web API working group is only intended
to be a stop-gap measure while we wait for the wheels of the W3C to turn.
It would be sad to delay this while we wait for charters to be written and
so forth.

--
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Ian Hickson
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3

On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
>
> I want to reiterate that W3C is *not* dropping the Geolocation API... we
> merely propose to move it to a dedicated WG. [...]
>
> Again, we are actively encouraging all interested parties to join this
> new Geolocation WG, and we will expedite its creation as far as we can.  

Do you know when the AC review for this new WG will start?

--
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Charles McCathieNevile-2
In reply to this post by Maciej Stachowiak

On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:38:37 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak <[hidden email]>  
wrote:

> On May 27, 2008, at 2:01 PM, Doug Schepers wrote:
...
>> In fact, I proposed on the WebApps WG charter to add this deliverable.  
>> However, the Advisory Committee's review of the charter indicated that  
>> the Membership wants this to happen in a dedicated Geolocation API WG.
>>
>> The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team  
>> resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something  
>> formal soon.
...
> I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory Committee  
> mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C decision on this  
> point. As Team contact, could you please explain who made this decision  
> and on what basis?

In which case I presume that someone used their ability to reply to the  
Team privately instead of being open about what they wanted. This disturbs  
me a little since it increases the resources and coordination required,  
IMHO, to do what is a pretty simple piece of work.

For the record, Opera would also like to see the geolocation work take  
place inside the webAPI group and is unhappy that it has been removed from  
the proposed charter for Web Apps.

Cheers

Chaals

--
Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals   Try Opera 9.5: http://snapshot.opera.com

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3
In reply to this post by Ian Hickson

Hi, Ian-

Ian Hickson wrote (on 5/27/08 6:09 PM):

> On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
>>
>> The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team
>> resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something
>> formal soon.
>>
>> Rest assured that Mike and I are intent on ensuring that there is no
>> scope creep for this API, and that the Geolocation API WG will take a
>> pragmatic, vendor-aware approach, and will act quickly.
>
> Sure, the proposal to work in the Web API working group is only intended
> to be a stop-gap measure while we wait for the wheels of the W3C to turn.
> It would be sad to delay this while we wait for charters to be written and
> so forth.

That's a very reasonable concern.  Since we are hoping for the WebApps
WG to be chartered as soon as we hear back from the AC reps (hopefully a
couple of weeks or less), it may not be appropriate to do it here... let
me do some digging regarding an appropriate forum at W3C, and get back
to you in the next couple of days.

In trying to manage expectations, I may have overstated the case, for
what it's worth... there hasn't been a formal decision by W3M on this
matter, merely a proposal for moving forward effectively, in a manner
that best serves all parties.  It's not a fait accompli, and I shouldn't
have represented it that way.  But a new Geolocation API WG seems a
sensible solution, on the face of it, and I hope that you'll all support
the idea.

In the meantime, I've removed the proposed Geolocation API from the
WebApps charter.

Regarding proposed deliverables in general, I've provided a mechanism
for that which I hope will be more agile, while providing due
oversight... rather than rechartering the WG, we can merely present a
proposal to the AC (based on initial use cases, requirements, research,
etc.), and formally add it to our list of deliverables upon approval.  I
anticipate steady progress in this group, so as we free up resources, we
should keep looking forward for useful things that we can work on.

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

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3
In reply to this post by Ian Hickson

Hi, Ian-

Ian Hickson wrote (on 5/27/08 6:20 PM):
> On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
>>
>> I want to reiterate that W3C is *not* dropping the Geolocation API... we
>> merely propose to move it to a dedicated WG. [...]
>>
>> Again, we are actively encouraging all interested parties to join this
>> new Geolocation WG, and we will expedite its creation as far as we can.  
>
> Do you know when the AC review for this new WG will start?

Not at the moment, but we are looking into it aggressively.  I'll keep
you posted as we make progress.

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

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3
In reply to this post by Charles McCathieNevile-2

Hi, Chaals-

Charles McCathieNevile wrote (on 5/27/08 6:34 PM):

>
> On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:38:37 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory
>> Committee mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C
>> decision on this point. As Team contact, could you please explain who
>> made this decision and on what basis?
>
> In which case I presume that someone used their ability to reply to the
> Team privately instead of being open about what they wanted. This
> disturbs me a little since it increases the resources and coordination
> required, IMHO, to do what is a pretty simple piece of work.

I think you may be overstating how simple this is, for what it's worth.
  Exposing coordinates sounds simple, sure... but the security and
privacy implications are stickier, as is the legal landscape (both in
terms of privacy laws and of IPR).


> For the record, Opera would also like to see the geolocation work take
> place inside the webAPI group and is unhappy that it has been removed
> from the proposed charter for Web Apps.

Noted.  I will convey your sentiments to the Team.

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

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Rob Sayre-2

The WebAPI WG seems like the best venue.

- Original message -
Hi, Chaals- Charles McCathieNevile wrote (on 5/27/08 6:3...



On 5/27/08, Doug Schepers <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi, Chaals-
>
> Charles McCathieNevile wrote (on 5/27/08 6:34 PM):
>>
>> On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:38:37 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory
>>> Committee mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C
>>> decision on this point. As Team contact, could you please explain who
>>> made this decision and on what basis?
>>
>> In which case I presume that someone used their ability to reply to the
>> Team privately instead of being open about what they wanted. This
>> disturbs me a little since it increases the resources and coordination
>> required, IMHO, to do what is a pretty simple piece of work.
>
> I think you may be overstating how simple this is, for what it's worth.
>   Exposing coordinates sounds simple, sure... but the security and
> privacy implications are stickier, as is the legal landscape (both in
> terms of privacy laws and of IPR).
>
>
>> For the record, Opera would also like to see the geolocation work take
>> place inside the webAPI group and is unhappy that it has been removed
>> from the proposed charter for Web Apps.
>
> Noted.  I will convey your sentiments to the Team.
>
> Regards-
> -Doug Schepers
> W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI
>
>

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com


Robert Sayre

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Jonas Sicking-2
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3

>> On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:38:37 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory
>>> Committee mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C
>>> decision on this point. As Team contact, could you please explain who
>>> made this decision and on what basis?
>>
>> In which case I presume that someone used their ability to reply to
>> the Team privately instead of being open about what they wanted. This
>> disturbs me a little since it increases the resources and coordination
>> required, IMHO, to do what is a pretty simple piece of work.
>
> I think you may be overstating how simple this is, for what it's worth.
>  Exposing coordinates sounds simple, sure... but the security and
> privacy implications are stickier, as is the legal landscape (both in
> terms of privacy laws and of IPR).

I think this group is doing a lot of work which involves privacy issues,
with more specs concerning them coming, so dealing with those would be
no new task.

Dealing with IPR issues would be something we haven't done though.
Though given todays patent law, it seems like something that we likely
have to deal with sooner or later no matter what.

The big missing piece would be geolocation itself I would say :)

All in all I would be in favor of doing that spec in this WG.

/ Jonas

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Ian Hickson
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3

On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
> > >
> > > Again, we are actively encouraging all interested parties to join
> > > this new Geolocation WG, and we will expedite its creation as far as
> > > we can.
> >
> > Do you know when the AC review for this new WG will start?
>
> Not at the moment, but we are looking into it aggressively.  I'll keep
> you posted as we make progress.

Cool, thanks.

--
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Ian Hickson
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3

On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:

> Ian Hickson wrote (on 5/27/08 6:09 PM):
> > On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
> > >
> > > The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team
> > > resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something
> > > formal soon.
> > >
> > > Rest assured that Mike and I are intent on ensuring that there is no
> > > scope creep for this API, and that the Geolocation API WG will take
> > > a pragmatic, vendor-aware approach, and will act quickly.
> >
> > Sure, the proposal to work in the Web API working group is only
> > intended to be a stop-gap measure while we wait for the wheels of the
> > W3C to turn. It would be sad to delay this while we wait for charters
> > to be written and so forth.
>
> That's a very reasonable concern.  Since we are hoping for the WebApps
> WG to be chartered as soon as we hear back from the AC reps (hopefully a
> couple of weeks or less), it may not be appropriate to do it here...

To clarify, we do consider two weeks to be a "wait". To be honest we're
worried that with vendors already working on products that do Geolocation
stuff, we may have waited too long already. The sooner we can get people
together to discuss this the better.

In fact, would it be possible to unofficially use this mailing list to
discuss proposals while we wait for a formal decision from Chaals on
whether Geolocation can (even temporarily) be a WebAPI work item?


> Regarding proposed deliverables in general, I've provided a mechanism
> for that which I hope will be more agile, while providing due
> oversight... rather than rechartering the WG, we can merely present a
> proposal to the AC (based on initial use cases, requirements, research,
> etc.), and formally add it to our list of deliverables upon approval.  
> I anticipate steady progress in this group, so as we free up resources,
> we should keep looking forward for useful things that we can work on.

FWIW, the resources Google has to offer here aren't locked to working
groups, they're locked to work items. So insofar as Google is concerned,
it would make no difference if there was one group or ten, we'd have the
same amount of resources. The list of deliverables that matters is the
total of all the deliverables we're interested in, not the deliverables
that a particular working group is tasked to work on.

Having said that, I personally do think it would be wiser to keep all DOM
APIs intended for browsers in one working group. The confusion we had with
two working groups (WebAPI and WAF) led to us merging them, it would be
sad to then immediately forget the lesson we had learnt and split work up
again.

Cheers,
--
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Doug Schepers-3

Hi, Ian-

Ian Hickson wrote (on 5/27/08 7:38 PM):
> On Tue, 27 May 2008, Doug Schepers wrote:
>>
>> That's a very reasonable concern.  Since we are hoping for the WebApps
>> WG to be chartered as soon as we hear back from the AC reps (hopefully a
>> couple of weeks or less), it may not be appropriate to do it here...
>
> To clarify, we do consider two weeks to be a "wait".

Hey, it's only a week more than your original proposal. :)


> To be honest we're
> worried that with vendors already working on products that do Geolocation
> stuff, we may have waited too long already. The sooner we can get people
> together to discuss this the better.

Sure, agreed as a general sentiment.  But honestly, is there some time
pressure such that an extra week or two will cause serious problems?
Vendors have been working in this space for many, many years (especially
in Japan) and there are already tons of patents and different
approaches... is there some particular issue that has more urgency than
is generally known, which you'd care to share?  Or more likely, is it a
case of momentum (which is certainly enough for me)?


> In fact, would it be possible to unofficially use this mailing list to
> discuss proposals while we wait for a formal decision from Chaals on
> whether Geolocation can (even temporarily) be a WebAPI work item?

I don't see why not.  I have some meager thoughts on it myself, having
spent some time reading up on it recently.


> FWIW, the resources Google has to offer here aren't locked to working
> groups, they're locked to work items. So insofar as Google is concerned,
> it would make no difference if there was one group or ten, we'd have the
> same amount of resources. The list of deliverables that matters is the
> total of all the deliverables we're interested in, not the deliverables
> that a particular working group is tasked to work on.

Sure, makes sense.  In that light, it's not a burden on Google to work
in a different WG, if that's what ends up happening.


> Having said that, I personally do think it would be wiser to keep all DOM
> APIs intended for browsers in one working group.

That was my initial impetus for proposing it in the draft charter.


> The confusion we had with
> two working groups (WebAPI and WAF) led to us merging them, it would be
> sad to then immediately forget the lesson we had learnt and split work up
> again.

I don't think that's the case here.  I, for one, would not want all DOM
interface work done in the HTML WG, nor would you want it all done in
the SVG WG.  There is a sane level of separation of concerns that
benefits all parties.

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

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Re: Proposal to work on Geolocation

Maciej Stachowiak
In reply to this post by Charles McCathieNevile-2


On May 27, 2008, at 3:34 PM, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:38:37 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak  
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On May 27, 2008, at 2:01 PM, Doug Schepers wrote:
> ...
>>> In fact, I proposed on the WebApps WG charter to add this  
>>> deliverable. However, the Advisory Committee's review of the  
>>> charter indicated that the Membership wants this to happen in a  
>>> dedicated Geolocation API WG.
>>>
>>> The W3C intends to follow through on that, and to allocate Team  
>>> resources to this valuable technology.  We will announce something  
>>> formal soon.
> ...
>> I could not find record of any such objection in the Advisory  
>> Committee mailing list archives, or any record of an official W3C  
>> decision on this point. As Team contact, could you please explain  
>> who made this decision and on what basis?
>
> In which case I presume that someone used their ability to reply to  
> the Team privately instead of being open about what they wanted.  
> This disturbs me a little since it increases the resources and  
> coordination required, IMHO, to do what is a pretty simple piece of  
> work.
>
> For the record, Opera would also like to see the geolocation work  
> take place inside the webAPI group and is unhappy that it has been  
> removed from the proposed charter for Web Apps.

And in case it wasn't clear, Apple would like to see this work item  
taken up, preferably inside this WG to save delay and coordination  
complexity.

We cannot volunteer editing resources but we would like to help with  
review and test cases.

Regards,
Maciej