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Change Proposals, objections, and the Decision Policy

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 09:32:07 -0700
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, public-html@w3.org
Message-id: <8F50CF0B-0CF5-4859-8EA7-1B12529856B2@apple.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>

Hi Tab,

On Jun 2, 2010, at 7:17 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 6:53 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
>> 
>> I was going to wait a day or so before I mentioned it again, but you
>> recently authored two change proposals which I suggested that you might want
>> to augment.
>> 
>> When it comes time for a poll in issues 89 and 92, what URLs should be used
>> to identify the change proposals that people are to register their
>> objections?
> 
> I can rewrite them to include the additional information I've sent to
> the list.  Ping me before the poll comes up if I forget about it.
> 
> 
>> As to your question in this email: the primary purpose of proposals is to
>> make a case FOR something, i.e., provide rationale.  Clearly stated
>> objections contained within a proposal will be considered, but that isn't
>> the primary purpose of a proposal.
>> 
>> This is true even for proposals made in response to other proposals (i.e.,
>> counter-proposals).  The chairs made a decision that uncontested content in
>> the spec does not need rationale, but contested material does, and that
>> responses to bug reports and proposals are the place to provide the
>> rationale.
> 
> This doesn't answer my question.  Allow me to make it more direct.  Do
> I hurt my case by merely authoring a change proposal and then not
> repeating my objections in the poll?

I have not yet discussed this with my co-Chairs, but here is my take.

When the Chairs review survey responses on an issue, we also carefully study the Change Proposals submitted and most particularly the rationale sections. If you look at the Working Group Decision for ISSUE-76 (<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jan/att-0218/issue-76-decision.html>), each point of rationale in each submitted Change Proposal was explicitly addressed. For the recent round of decisions, we also carefully reviewed Change Proposal rationales, but we commented on them in a somewhat more cursory way.

Since we're telling WG participants that they do not need to restate objections that are redundant with a Change Proposal, then I think we need to be very clear that we are in fact treating arguments in the rationale sections as objections when appropriate, even if not explicitly worded as such. Therefore I will recommend that for future decisions, the Chairs explicitly address at least all the individual points of rationale from each Change Proposal in the written decision.

Does this address your concerns at all?

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Monday, 14 June 2010 16:38:41 GMT

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