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WG Process (was: Re: wow...)

From: Asbjørn Ulsberg <asbjorn@ulsberg.no>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 02:57:23 +0200
To: "Benjamin Chait" <benjamin.chait@gmail.com>
Cc: "Daniel Glazman" <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, public-html@w3.org, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.tpvjlxcm5rel5w@quark>

On Wed, 28 Mar 2007 02:32:49 +0200, Benjamin Chait  
<benjamin.chait@gmail.com> wrote:

> If you don't agree, that's fine. I'm only a student right now, and
> this is my first experience with a working group of this nature. But
> it feels like we're all over the place, and that some of us--
> including myself--are already overwhelmed. Just my two cents....

As to the "we're all over the place" statement, I have to agree. I'll try  
to provide some insight in how progress was conducted and executed in the  
ATOMPUB WG of IETF. Please note that I was only a mere grunt in the WG,  
though, so for specific questions about the process, I'd like to point to  
the WG's chairs; Tim Bray and Paul Hoffman:

   <http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/atompub-charter.html>

Each week, the chairs would post an issue list for the WG to work on.  
Issues could be long-running, but progress was made each week and issues  
were moved to another list as soon as they were resolved. This issue list  
set the boundries for what topics we should discuss in the following week.

Topics that weren't on the issue list yet could be discussed too, but the  
volume (number of messages) was moderated by the chairs by encouraging  
off-list discussions and most importantly, write-ups on the Atom wiki:

   <http://intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/>

Each issue was written up as a "Pace" and added to the complete issue  
list, which also exists as a wiki page:

   <http://intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/AtomPubIssuesList>

On this page, the issues were sorted under different categories, like  
"Currently under discussion", "Recommended for closure", "Accepted for  
incorporation", etc.

What made this a good way to work was that it was structured and the fact  
that people had to write up their proposals in a pace made the entry level  
so high that in certain circumstances, suggestions that were only half  
baked never even got their own pace and thus didn't get on the issue list.

I think the HTML WG can adopt this process with success. Instead of  
posting "test cases" to this list, people can start creating wiki pages  
and marking them up with a special category (e.g. "Proposals" like on the  
Atom wiki). We can even re-use the strange prefix "Pace", which was minted  
by Sam Ruby and explained as:

> Originally, I was searching for an acronym. One that perhaps combined
> words like Proposal, Atom, Change, Enhancement. In the process I found
> a word that connoted forward motion, consensus, and peace.

   <http://www.imc.org/atom-syntax/mail-archive/msg09678.html>

-- 
Asbjørn Ulsberg           -=|=-        asbjorn@ulsberg.no
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»
Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:55:07 GMT

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