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Re: Moratorium on the spec-splitting discussion

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 11:24:03 -0500
Message-ID: <498086A3.5010602@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
[please forgive the excessive snippage]
> 
> I'm asking about "group decision", not necessarily consensus. Per the 
> W3C Process, when consensus cannot be achieved, a group decision should 
> nontheless be made by other means, such as voting.

I've made a relatively concrete proposal as to how we should evaluate 
requests for advancement to FPWD.  My current preference is that we 
tweak that if necessary and then execute on it.

Meanwhile, you've suggested an alternative, namely voting.  I'd like to 
see that alternative fleshed out before deciding to go that way.  I see 
a number of issues that need to be worked.

1) Votes tend to be polarizing.  I've base this on my experience with a 
number of different standards bodies.  The IETF even has a rather 
amusing way of solving this via humming.  Unfortunately it is not 
immediately obvious how such an approach could be applied here, but it 
would be a fun bikeshed project if anybody wishes to pursue it. ;-)

2) Results of votes can be engineered based on how the question is 
phrased.  Do you favor "curtailing creativity" or "creating confusion"? 
  Um, neither, thank you.  But I assure you that no matter how well 
intentioned you try to create the poll, somebody will object because 
they perceive the question itself as being biased along one of those two 
lines.

3) Votes, by themselves, aren't prescriptive enough.  The vote was 
47-53.  Now what?  This is the weakest issue I have, as it can 
straightforwardly addressed by requiring a justification.  But it still 
leaves a few loose ends: when to hold a vote?  Only if you are sure of 
the results?  Early and often?  Can somebody just keep retrying until a 
vote passes?

That should be enough to get started.  If you or anybody else would be 
willing to work to produce a concrete proposal that addresses some or 
all of these issues, I would very much like to discuss the outcome of such.

> My apologies for quoting the rules, but since you couched your proposal 
> in W3C Process terms, I thought that might be the best way to get clarity.

To the contrary, it was most helpful.

> So, I would prefer the Chairs not highlight PR transition as the key 
> point for Working Group members to raise objections, or the appropriate 
> time to decide how the spec should be factored.

Fair enough.

> Regards,
> Maciej

- Sam Ruby

P.S.  I much appreciate the difference in tone I see in your more recent 
emails.  Something I'd also appreciate you considering as it has a 
direct bearing on this specific discussion:

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertwingularity

The way I see it, I'm either a cunning genius who selected a domain name 
several years ago merely to score a few bonus points in this discussion, 
or this name represents a very public and difficult to repudiate 
description of my outlook on discussions such as these.
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:24:50 UTC

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