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Re: HTML Working Group Decision Policy - for discussion

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 18:50:29 +0300
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <EC216292-F9C0-44F2-9854-70005F74657E@iki.fi>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
On Oct 8, 2009, at 11:24, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> On Oct 8, 2009, at 12:26 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> On Oct 7, 2009, at 12:04, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>> It's very important for Working Group members to read this  
>>> document and give questions or comments. Once we settle on a  
>>> policy, we're going to follow the procedures outlined and will  
>>> expect Working Group members to be the same. So now is a great  
>>> time to ask about things that are unclear, or suggest improvements.
>> It's unclear to me if issues can be revisited once an endpoint of  
>> the escalation process has been reached.
>> If person A escalates and indicates that (s)he'll produce a Change  
>> Proposal but fails and the issue becomes deferred, can person B re- 
>> escalate the same issue and undefer it? Can person A re-escalate?  
>> (I'd expect it to be out of order if person A re-escalates.)
> I think it would be out of order for anyone to re-escalate an issue  
> that has timed out (or a nominally separate but effectively  
> identical issue).

That kind of rule would make the process vulnerable to attack, as  
dbaron already observed.

>> This policy doesn't seem to cover how the WG decides to take on new  
>> deliverables. Is that intentional?
> Taking on new deliverables in practice boils down to two publication  
> decisions: publishing a First Public Working Draft and going to Last  
> Call. I assume once we go to Last Call we likely intend to stick  
> with it through REC, but FPWD does not carry any implication that we  
> will proceed further on the REC track. We did not document the  
> process for these kinds of publication decisions; the policy focuses  
> on decisions about spec content. Do you think these steps need to be  
> explicitly documented somewhere? Our de facto practice seems to be  
> that a lazy consensus resolution or poll is sufficient for FPWD, but  
> there is no precedent yet for LC.

It seems odd to me to document a process even for responding to other  
WGs but not to document the process for taking on new FPWDs. After  
all, the W3C Process makes completely disposing of a document  
impossible once it has reached FPWD, so it seems like a bad idea to  
take on FPWDs too lightly.

(It seems that outside the W3C people put more weight on WG Notes than  
is appropriate considering how WG Notes are published. I noticed  
Wikipedia even referring to WG Notes as "W3C Notes". Thus, it's  
probably a good idea to avoid a situation where the WG has to  
published Notes it doesn't really endorse at all.)

Previously a policy of requiring a certain number of independent (as  
determined by the chairs) WG participants who've volunteered to work  
on a spec was put forward. Is that policy still in effect and have the  
chairs identified the required independent volunteers for the  
documents that have recently been put forward for FPWD?

Henri Sivonen
Received on Friday, 9 October 2009 15:51:06 UTC

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