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Re: Consensus on ISSUE-73 (was Re: Universal Property)

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.rpi.edu>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 13:25:16 -0500
Message-Id: <D558B255-CEAB-4996-88C8-14F3B351EEA8@cs.rpi.edu>
Cc: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>, Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>, "Web Ontology Language ((OWL)) Working Group WG" <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
I sent a private email to Alan, but since Bijan chose to bash me in  
public as well, let me respond in public (and if anyone thinks this  
is a process issue, my email to Alan is recorded in w3t-archive)
  I was not trying to raise a formal objection, nor was I trying to  
reverse a WG decision.  However, there was new information in the  
minutes that I had not seen before that led me to believe I wanted  
more information.  As you note, I had said previously that I would  
abstain, and my email was not inconsistent with that -- I said

>  We will not create a formal objection, but like Jeremy we reserve  
> the right to create an objection when the document that actually  
> explains this is published

which, as best I can tell from the process document is consistent  
with objecting.

  Alan was right to note that I did use the word "object" about  
closing the issue, but I was, in fact, up on the process document  
which differentiates a formal objection from saying "I disagree" - I  
do, in fact, understand process both in our WG and more importantly  
the W3C process - I've actually even chaired a WG in the past and  
served on a coordination group and the AC -- My email was not meant  
to be anything other than a stake in the ground so that if I later  
expressed a view on this issue, no one would be able to say "you  
should have said that back when we discussed it"

So please note - there are two meanings of "process" being bandied  
about here - the lightweight meaning with respect to our WG, and the  
heavyweight meaning of W3C process.  I may be "lax" on the former  
(although I don't think I was (according to the minutes Jeremy said  
"-1" not "-0" which means there was recorded dissent) but I am quite  
aware of the latter, and if you want me to stick to that, I will, but  
the W3C process is designed to allow minorities a lot of rights (and  
somehow I've become a minority in a group devoted to a language I've  
spent more time on creating than, well than, anybody else anywhere)  
and can create a lot of foot-dragging.  I don't want that anymore  
than anyone else does - so let's be real careful before we start  
throwing the process document around -
  -Jim H







On Jan 18, 2008, at 12:29 PM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:

>
> On Jan 18, 2008, at 11:06 AM, Jeremy Carroll wrote:
>>
>> I noted surprise in the e-mail thread that Bijan proposed to close  
>> this issue, when I had understood the chairs as encouraging us to  
>> discuss other issues, in the e-mail.
>
> Open world. That we encourage you to discuss something doesn't mean  
> you shouldn't discuss others on the agenda.
> Or say that you don't want something on the agenda, or that it  
> should be in a different part.
>
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-wg/2008Jan/0100  
>> (for example ISSUE-29 not ISSUE-73)
>>
>> While Jim may have been somewhat lax on the process it is unclear  
>> how we are meant to prioritise topics for thought and discussion  
>> when the chair's give instructions to discuss certain issues and  
>> then construct agendas concerning others.  Of course, this is  
>> generally a good thing, when there is consensus in that it keeps  
>> things moving, but it was clear in the e-mail archive that I was  
>> not satisfied with Bijan's proposal.
>>
>> If our process is that the chairs pick an arbitrary issue from the  
>> issue list a couple of days before a meeting and stick that on the  
>> agenda, and see whether some arbitrary proposal to close it will  
>> carry (by majority), then this is somewhat open to abuse.
>
> This is not the process. I would remind you that the process that  
> we have around those proposals to resolve is that if someone feels  
> that the issue is not ready for resolution then we push it to a  
> discussion. We make our best judgement as to what might be ready  
> for resolution and there have been several cases where Ian or I  
> have pushed an issue, initially on that list, off further, or into  
> discussion on the way to making a decision on the agenda. However,  
> we may occasionally make mistakes in judgement here. Fortunately,  
> with adequate WG participation, they should not generate any  
> problem because of the policy of moving them to discussion if we  
> aren't ready to resolve it, as determined in the meeting, or by  
> notification before the meeting.
>
> In the discussion we had on this issue, IIRC, your position was  
> that both sides of the argument had been adequately made, and you  
> didn't think that further discussion would change anything. Had you  
> stated otherwise, we would have not voted and instead moved the  
> issue to discussion. Please correct me if I remember this incorrectly.
>
>> I liked the suggestion that the process was more going to be that  
>> the chairs sugegst a couple of the non-consensus issues to discuss  
>> by e-mail each week - ISSUE-73 has never been so marked.
>
> We are working on putting this in place, as you can see by the fact  
> that we had a draft agenda for next week at the last meeting (Kudos  
> to Ian!). However, prior to this, putting it on the agenda was that  
> notice.
>
>> On Bijan's point
>> "(i.e., we had consensus on the telecon)"
>> no, I voted against (I suggest review the IRC)
>
> My understanding was that we had consensus to vote. However if you  
> did not understand the status of proposals to resolve, as discussed  
> above, your decision might not be what it would have been  
> otherwise. I did think we had made this clear. My apologies if we  
> did not. Is it clear now? If this is new information to you, then  
> we can revisit the resolution.
>
> -Alan
>

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would  
it?." - Albert Einstein

Prof James Hendler				http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~hendler
Tetherless World Constellation Chair
Computer Science Dept
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180
Received on Friday, 18 January 2008 18:27:03 GMT

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