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Re: minutes: HTML WG Weekly 21 May 2009 [draft]

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sun, 24 May 2009 18:58:44 -0400
Message-ID: <4A19D124.7050701@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
> On May 24, 2009, at 8:06 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> 
>> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>> On May 24, 2009, at 3:50 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I agree that it was a lopsided vote.
>>>>
>>>> I agree that there was an intent to publish as a Note, but disagree 
>>>> with any implication that it constituted a commitment or a decision 
>>>> to ultimately publish as a Note, in particular I disagree that it 
>>>> was a decision that would need to be reversed.
>>>>
>>>> I disagree that the conference call is "informal", but I agree that 
>>>> further discussion is warranted.
>>> Let me put it this way. I think if we want to make a decision as a WG 
>>> not to publish any further Working Drafts, and not to aim to publish 
>>> as a Note, I think that decision should be taken as seriously as the 
>>> decision to publish in the first place.
>>> I think discussion on a single conference call, where abandoning the 
>>> Design Principles document was not even an agenda item (though other 
>>> Design Principles discussion was), and when there had been no mailing 
>>> list discussion of doing so, does not constitute an adequate process 
>>> for assessing consensus.
>>
>> No assertion was made that consensus was determined on that conference 
>> call.  If you want to take exception to what actually was said or 
>> done, feel free to do so.
> 
> I don't object to what was said, I objected to Chaals saying "the group 
> has no plan to take this any further" and therefore I shouldn't do 
> anything, and then Laura agreeing with him. I don't think the group has 
> made such a decision.

Fair enough.  I agree that no decision has been made.

>>> After writing the above, I checked what the W3C Process had to say 
>>> about stopping work on a document. I was surprised to learn that, 
>>> apparently, the  W3C Process does not allow stopping work without 
>>> publishing either as a Recommendation or a Working Group Note: 
>>> <http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html#tr-end>. These 
>>> are the only allowed end states, and the proper way to abandon a 
>>> document is to publish it as a Note. This means that any time we 
>>> agree to publish a Working Draft, we are committing to at least 
>>> publishing a WG Note at some point, though of course publishing as a 
>>> Note does not imply any endorsement.
>>
>> Fair enough.  I once thought there was the possibility that a few 
>> small changes might improve the chances that consensus might form.  If 
>> that isn't the case, then I would suggest that those who have opposing 
>> views be presented with the opportunity to prepare brief, factual 
>> statements about the areas of disagreements.  The intent would be that 
>> such statements would be included in the front matter of the Note.
> 
> I don't know if it's the case or not that small changes could bring 
> about consensus. Perhaps anyone who still has problems with the document 
> could make their case for changes.

Agreed.

>  From my point of view, the survey revealed that feelings on the Design 
> Principles were like this: over 90% of the group agreed with every 
> principle largely as-is; and on the other hand, a few people found 
> something to object to in almost every principle. That was two years 
> ago, perhaps results would be different if we took a new survey. But if 
> the sense of the group is similar, then indeed increasing the degree of 
> consensus may be hard, since the objectors may not be satisfied with 
> small changes, and large changes (like removing most of the principles) 
> would be unreasonable in light of the widespread general support.
> 
> That being said, I don't think the correct response to > 90% support 
> with some persistent objectors is to stop work and publish the document 
> with a disclaimer. Per the Process, our responsibility is to hear out 
> objections and report any that go unaddressed, but not necessarily to 
> record them in our work output itself. And if we cannot find a way to 
> satisfy some objectors, then we are certainly not required or even 
> encouraged by the Process to stop. Otherwise we are holding ourselves to 
> a 100% agreement standard, which is not what the Process means by 
> consensus. Indeed, I would be inclined to say that >90% agreement with 
> good faith efforts to address serious objections would be consensus, 
> even if some objectors were still unhappy.

Again, I agree that no decision has been made to stop work.  To the 
contrary: I have every intention of providing an ample opportunity for 
the objections that exist to be addressed and/or providing an ample 
opportunity for a suitable disclaimer to be drafted.

> Regards,
> Maciej

- Sam Ruby
Received on Sunday, 24 May 2009 22:59:24 GMT

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