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[Bug 9898] The Decision Policy (as applied) is ineffective at getting closure on ISSUEs

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 14:42:19 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1OOArj-00018H-G7@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #13 from Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>  2010-06-14 14:42:18 ---
(In reply to comment #12)
> (In reply to comment #0)
> > Emphasizing the a Decision applies "at this
> > time" is effectively an invitation to continue discussion instead of bringing the ISSUEs to closure.
> If decisions allow features to be improved, discussion on them should not be
> stifled. It should be encouraged. Brainstorming and negotiation are critical
> factors for consensus, which is a core W3C value.
> (In reply to comment #5)
> > The "keep the elements" crowd found it much too easy to gather around 
> > a anti-Shelley totem. I really wonder why they did not try to behave 
> > more nicely so that they could win over weak souls for their cause 
> > that way. It scares me that this was so unimportant for them. 
> I agree, Leif. Instituting some list guidelines may be helpful. For instance:
> * Don't attack a person. Disagree with an idea.
> * Respect the right of others to disagree.
> * Tone of messages must be maintained at the highest level of professionalism;
> flaming, sarcasm, or personal attacks will not be tolerated. 
> * Be polite and show respect. If you have nothing positive, informative or
> helpful to say, refrain from sharing it.
> * Debate; Don't argue.
> * Listen; Don't shout.

Over-relying on tone or word use doesn't encompass acts that, when taken
separately are innocuous, but when combined are based more on a response
against an individual rather than an idea. People can be polite but still act
counter to what's best for the HTML5 spec, and for all web communities.
Politeness in word is nothing if its not matched by openness in action. 

I would rather those who wanted to universally keep elements had argued each,
individually. I believed then, and continue to believe now, that the arguments
presented against my change proposals were weak, and based on politics rather
than technology. In fact, there were few technical objections and many
political -- based on emails and philosophical assertions rather than anything

However, where the co-chairs failed, and badly, is by tolerating disrespect for
the change proposal process by allowing a grouped response--even though the
change proposals were about individual items. 

It is the co-chair response and behavior that actually opens this item up for
formal objection, because the chairs did not follow their own established
change proposal process. 

The Decision Process, when applied equitably and consistently, can work. Where
it fails is when the application of the process is neither equal, nor
consistent. Might as well file a bug against the co-chairs, as against the

> Some sample list guidelines:
> http://webdesign-l.com/policies/#etiquette
> http://lists.evolt.org/index.php?content=listinfo
> http://www.wise-women.org/about/guidelines/
> http://www.river.com/users/share/etiquette/
> http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=PostingGuidelines
> http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=OffTopic
> http://webstandardsgroup.org/mail/guidelines.cfm
> http://www.sigchi.org/resources/web/guidelines.html/
> http://www.w3.org/QA/IG/Lists
> http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/

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