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Re: Next Steps for W3C Coremob

From: Jo Rabin <jo@linguafranca.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 17:44:49 +0000
Message-Id: <6352A45E-5175-4863-8876-798CD5F68CD2@linguafranca.org>
To: "public-coremob@w3.org" <public-coremob@w3.org>
Thanks everyone for contributing thoughts here. 

I'd like to drive the conversation in the direction of "what we plan to do", since while it's important to discuss "how we plan to do it", if it doesn't have an agenda it won't make any difference whether it's a CG, an IG or a loaf of bread. 

I want to say that it's my personal objective to maintain the maximum possible openness while benefiting from the advantages that a more formal structure brings - talking of loaves of bread, aiming to get the "best of both" [1]. So I hope that it allays concerns in this area to say that the public list (this one) would remain open both to inspection and to contribution. I'm hoping that the question of IPR commitments has been answered (the commitment attaches to W3C membership, as I understand it). In terms of the eventuality that a non-member wishes to attend meetings or better still to participate in authoring, well I'd welcome that and it can be dealt with on a case by case basis.

[1] http://www.hovisbakery.co.uk/our-range/best-of-both

Back on the subject of what is the ongoing group to do, are we  saying that we are interested in:

a) Commercial

That means two rather different things, 

i) wishing to encourage participation from people to contribute commercial use cases

ii) Wishing to look at technologies that enact commerce, like payments.

iii) Wishing to make Web development economical, or more economical than multi-platform native. In this area, Responsive Design/Technology might be of interest to the group.

b) Contextual / Environmental / Mobile Specific

Shopping, NFC, Live Blogging and More.

c) Level the Playing Field

That will mean looking at promotional and perceptual issues, as well as the need to look at things the Web can't do but should be able to. Undoubtedly this is the subject matter of the Closing the Gap initiative. It's Coremob agenda too. Lucky we get on so well with them. Or are actually the same people as them.


(Always in ALL CAPS) I think this is what Rob said earlier that he was interested in, only that was when it was "things the Web has an inherent advantage in". I prefer Natasha's characterisation to my own :-) Economics of cross platform multi-platform is relevant here too.

If we were to organise as Task Forces then I can see four in the above. 

I'm very keen to hear more voices on this. 


On 11 Mar 2013, at 17:52, Natasha Rooney <nrooney@gsma.com> wrote:

> Thanks Jo for putting this together! With regards to "2. Areas of
> Interest" I can add some thoughts:
> I think bridging the gap between native and web apps is an obvious key
> focus - and the difference between the closing the gap group is within the
> timescales otherwise we are looking at essentially the same topic.
> Including commercial and business objectives is a good addition. I find
> all too often that some organisations suffer from internal debate over the
> monetisation of the web which can often pull them away from using web
> technologies. (Of course the web payments group will do work in this area,
> but we certainly can work on how this applies to the mobile web.) Smaller
> devs will turn to the web but larger orgs need to see the obvious
> monetisation first (sorry for pulling in this horrid money talk!).
> Mobile-specific use cases will also help here; you mentioned NFC
> (obviously close to our heart at GSMA) and shopping via bar-scanning and
> we can add to these such things as live-blogging, location services and
> other such things that are more "mobile" then desktop. These items will
> definitely aid us when talking to large operators or devs about the
> benefits of web over native.
> Furthermore another great focus will be where the web has advantages over
> native (as you said below). This is another hot topic I come up against a
> lot, when devs say "yeah but it'll never be as good as native"; it will be
> great to say "well can your crappy native app do THIS AWESOME THING THAT
> ONLY WEB CAN DO" but perhaps in a nicer way!
> I'm chatting with some operators here about whether they have any specific
> input - will share what I find out. Currently it looks like we like the
> idea of an Interest Group but I do need to ask a few more interested
> parties.
> Many thanks!
> Natasha
> Please note: GSMA email addresses have changed. Please use
> nrooney@gsma.com from now on.
> Natasha Rooney | Web Technologist | GSMA | nrooney@gsma.com | +44 (0) 7730
> 219 765 | @thisNatasha | Skype: nrooney@gsm.org
> 7th Floor, 5 New Street Square, London EC4A 3BF
> On 10/03/2013 11:12, "Jo Rabin" <jo@linguafranca.org> wrote:
>> Please forgive the duplication, but I'm sending an in-line plain text
>> copy of 
>> http://www.w3.org/community/coremob/2013/03/10/next-steps-for-w3c-coremob-
>> 2013-03-10/
>> Many thanks
>> Jo
>> 0. Summary
>> Hoping that those who have been at MWC have now had time to recover from
>> it and that those that did not go have recovered from whatever they were
>> doing instead. 
>> It's time to decide what Coremob will move on to do next. Irrespective of
>> the hiatus that MWC represents, some thinking has been going on. Here is
>> some of that thinking, which somewhat recapitulates what's been said
>> before and hopefully also provides the basis for gaining consensus and
>> pressing on. 
>> The agenda, contentiously put, is:
>> "Making Web technology the obvious choice for cross platform development,
>> and in the shorter term making it fit for mobile".
>> That suggests a lot of work and more resources than a W3C Community Group
>> structure can muster. We propose creating a W3C Interest Group, with
>> dedicated W3C staff resource, to follow up on the work of the CG (gap
>> analysis and so on), to inform and enact W3C action plans, especially
>> those identified by current W3C Headlight Projects.
>> This is discussed in more depth below.
>> Please contribute your thoughts on this list to help shape the agenda.
>> 1. Should the Community Group Continue in Some Form?
>> At one extreme, as Art Barstow suggested [1], we could say "job done" and
>> pull down the shutters on the group. I think that's a plausible
>> alternative but also think that our work on CoreMob 2012 has shown that
>> there is lots to be done to improve the Web on mobile. I think that
>> Coremob - or a group very much like it - definitely has a role to play.
>> This view is reinforced by the W3C's Headlight Project initiatives [2],
>> [3], many of which are relevant to our ongoing agenda - in particular
>> that headed by Dom, called "Closing the Gap with Native" [4].
>> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-coremob/2013Jan/0049.html
>> [2] http://www.w3.org/QA/2013/01/on_the_w3c_agenda_headlights_2_1.html
>> [3] http://www.w3.org/wiki/Headlights2013
>> [4] http://www.w3.org/QA/2013/03/closing_the_gap_with_native_ap.html
>> Aside from Dom's "Closing the Gap" initiative, there are also initiatives
>> on Web performance and Payments (which might in any case be considered as
>> part of Closing the Gap, from Coremob's perspective).
>> As noted on the Coremob mailing list, the testing element of the present
>> charter now moves to a centralized function in W3C headed by Tobie [5].
>> That doesn't mean we're not interested in testing any more, far from it,
>> but we are going to be interested in taking an overview of what needs
>> testing, and with what priority - rather than creating test
>> infrastructure or tests that run on it.
>> [5] http://www.w3.org/QA/2013/02/testing_the_open_web_platform.html
>> 2. Areas of Interest
>> I think it is particularly important, going forward, that Coremob has a
>> broader agenda than technology alone. I think it should also provide a
>> vehicle to allow commercial and business objectives to inform thinking
>> and prioritization. To my mind Web payments is a crucial area of concern
>> for mobile. Thinking about other business requirements and commercial
>> considerations, such as monetization of Web apps, is also a key concern.
>> In increasing order of generality, here are three areas of attention:
>> a) Follow up on and Develop our Earlier Work
>> Coremob 2012 identified various areas where standardization is needed (or
>> needs to be accelerated) to build some relatively simple use cases. I
>> think that Coremob has a role in influencing and lobbying various groups
>> to try to prioritize work in those areas.
>> We may decide that enough progress has been made on implementation of the
>> gaps noted in Coremob 2012 to think about a similar Coremob 2013. I'm not
>> sure at the moment that this is realistic, but I do think that we can
>> make good progress on (commercially inspired) use cases that we didn't
>> cover in Coremob 2012. Possible use cases that spring to my mind relate
>> to shopping experiences and other experiences that involve interaction
>> with the environment - bar code scanning, interaction with NFC and more.
>> b) Help Inform and Provide Feedback to other W3C Groups and W3C Team
>> A specific immediate example of this would be to provide input into some
>> of the current Headlight projects. In the longer term this is both an
>> extension of what is mentioned under a) above, and taking specific
>> conclusions from the Headlight projects and working on them.
>> Under the heading of "Closing the Gap", Dom has written a lot about
>> various specific areas of interest, which I not only don't disagree with
>> but which in the main I wholeheartedly agree with. I'm not going to
>> recapitulate those things here, but would recommend looking at them [6],
>> [7] and particularly [8] and [9] which I think provide a really good
>> starting point for charter items and work items. I'd also recommend
>> signing up to the mailing list [10].
>> [6] http://www.w3.org/QA/2013/03/closing_the_gap_with_native_ap.html
>> [7] http://www.w3.org/wiki/Closing_the_gap_with_native,
>> [8] 
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-closingthegap/2013Mar/0001.html
>> and
>> [9] 
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-closingthegap/2013Mar/0002.html
>> [10] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-closingthegap/
>> The Headlight projects have a short lifetime. The things they identify
>> will need taking forward beyond that lifetime. I think that the group
>> should have an important role in providing ongoing continuity.
>> c) Making the Web the Platform of Choice for a Significant Number of
>> Classes of Apps.
>> Some pretty broad topics are suggested under b) above that are candidates
>> for an ongoing group to consider. In terms of breadth, I'm thinking of
>> things like the relative absence of tools and SDK equivalents in the Web
>> world, and even wondering about the structure of the W3C as an effective
>> vehicle for prioritizing things that are necessarily cross-group in
>> nature. But broad as these topics are, I don't think it ends there.
>> It is inevitable, and in fact desirable, I think, that we construe this
>> exercise as being a competitive one. In that way we take a business-like
>> view of short term tactics and longer term strategy.
>> That said, when I say competitive, I want to be very clear that I think
>> this is about unleashing the potential of the Web to serve applications
>> for which, to my mind, it has a natural suitability. I don't think that
>> we are talking in any way at all about a "war on native". There will
>> always be some things that are best done in native, or that can't in
>> practice be done using Web technology.
>> A compelling point, in terms of competitiveness, is that people are
>> increasingly engaging with products and services in a cross channel way.
>> Journeys that start on one device or channel, continue on a second and
>> then progresses to a third. Here we are talking of an area where the Web,
>> in principle at least, has a built-in advantage.
>> There is plenty of scope for the ongoing group to think about user
>> context (meaning something broader than device and location) and how a
>> Web experience should respond to the context of the user. I think that
>> responsive design (in a broad sense), is a necessary approach to
>> achieving cross platform experience, but for which there is no single
>> point of reference within W3C. There's plenty of work relevant to it, in
>> lots of working groups, for sure, not to mention many points of view
>> outside the W3C, but nowhere that takes an overview.
>> In summary of this point, as well as catching up on things that the Web
>> ought to be able to do, but can't, and is therefore uncompetitive with
>> native, I think the group should also look at areas where the Web has an
>> advantage - and bring some thinking to bear on how this "in principle"
>> advantage can be translated to an "in practice" advantage.
>> d) Summary of Things To Do
>> In short, there's no shortage of things to do. The questions are mainly
>> what to focus on, what possible participants in the group want to do and
>> what we think are things that we can make a practical impact on. A
>> talking shop is to some degree fine, something that makes a difference
>> needs to deliver things as well as discuss them.
>> 3. Organization of the Group
>> From discussion over the last weeks it would seem that it would make
>> sense for the group to transition from a Community Group to an Interest
>> Group. There are a number of benefits to this, in particular that of
>> gaining dedicated W3C team resource. There are also a number of areas to
>> look at, particularly how people and organizations that are unaffiliated
>> with W3C might continue to contribute.
>> The group as pictured above will have a very broad remit and in order to
>> make sensible progress on chosen topics we will need to make sure there
>> is focus. We must also make sure that a broad range of possible
>> participants can contribute where they feel they are particularly
>> interested without being burdened with things that they are less
>> interested in. This is especially important, in my view, if we are to
>> successfully broaden our horizons and membership to include more business
>> focused and commercial objectives. Dom has suggested that we look at the
>> organization of - and especially the Task Force model of - the Web and TV
>> Interest Group [11].
>> [11] http://www.w3.org/2011/webtv/
>> 4. Timescales and plan
>> In order to move this forward I ask that members of the group contribute
>> their thoughts on this general approach within the next two weeks.
>> Starting from the current CG charter, we will then be in a position
>> elaborate it and turn it into an IG charter, informed by the feedback we
>> get.
>> Many thanks, in advance, for your contributions on public-coremob@w3.org.
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Received on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 17:45:24 UTC

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