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RE: Explanation of the Network Inference DAWG Strawman Objection

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:26:33 -0500
To: Jeff Pollock <Jeff.Pollock@networkinference.com>
Cc: RDF Data Access Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>, Eric Miller <em@w3.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Steve Bratt <steve@w3.org>, "Ralph R. Swick" <swick@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, Massimo Marchiori <massimo@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <pcotton@microsoft.com>, brian_mcbride@hp.com, Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Message-Id: <1090250793.14421.1228.camel@dirk>

On Mon, 2004-07-19 at 09:53, Jeff Pollock wrote:
> Dan-
> Thank you for the follow up, clarification, and linking to our objection
> position in the FTF notes.
> I have one point of confusion that I am hoping you would address:  
> On Thursday, subsequent to the XQuery design discussion, and prior to
> the strawman vote, Network Inference proposed a requirement and/or
> objective that "the query language shall have an XQuery compatible
> concrete language syntax."  This proposed requirement was voted on,
> without approval. We then voted on it as an objective, with no approval.

No, I didn't put a question on either a requirement or an objective.
I took various non-binding, informational straw-polls.

"For instance, the Chair often conducts a "straw poll" vote as a means
of determining whether there is consensus about a potential decision."
 -- http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/policies.html#Consensus

> We then went around the room seeking some semblance of consensus on the
> wording of a loose XQuery objective, with no consensus.
> Why are these not formal "rejections?"

Because I (the chair) didn't put the question.

>   Is there another process that we
> should follow in order to officially be rejected?  

I'm not sure I understand your question, but
(1) no, there's no process for forcing a WG decision
before the chair thinks the time has come, and
(1) no, I don't have any advice on how you can
get a proposal rejected. My job is to facilitate
consensus and to make good use of everybody's
time; group decisions are costly; I avoid putting
questions unless I'm pretty sure there's a critical
mass in favor.

> Unless I am badly confused (very possible!), the action item that Simon
> took on was due to our inability to accept any mention of XQuery as
> either a requirement or objective.

While that may have been part of Simon's motivation, the two
are not connected in any formal sense. Simon's action is just
one part of the discussion.

>  We are primarily concerned with Phase
> 3, "Concrete Syntax" of this proposed specification, since this is the
> primary level at which we are interested in the XQuery formalisms.
> Overall, we look forward to the group's progress over the coming months
> and will engage with Simon, Howard, Eric to position the XQuery action
> item as a future candidate for a re-proposal of new requirements.
> What are the milestones that you would like to see accomplished before
> we raise the requirement to the working group once again?

Since we haven't made a decision yet, and it's clearly within our
charter, the topic is open for discussion.
I encourage you to continue the discussion without delay, trying
to figure out why your fellow WG members disagree, and trying
to convince them. I'm following the discussion between you
and Jim Hendler with interest, for example.

> For now, I would like the record to show that there was in fact a
> rejection of both a requirement and an objective to include XQuery
> support in this working group.

The record shows "We discussed Proposed XQuery requirement and/or
objective without reaching critical mass around any particular wording."
 -- http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/DataAccess/ftf2#ucrpub

I can't think of a better way to describe what happened, but I'm
open to suggestions.

We did not make a decision, though.

> I am not intending to be obstinate only for the sake of being obstinate,
> we take this process very seriously and are quite certain that our
> position on XQuery is well worth defending and envisioning. Last week's
> face to face was a crucial juncture in the working group's lifecycle,
> and we are greatly disappointed in the continued lukewarm attitude
> towards requiring an XQuery context to the strawman.
> Many Kind Regards,
> -Jeff-
> BTW: I do recognize the poor etiquette of including a broad cc list
> herein, I will discontinue any further group posts after this, but
> wanted to clarify that we the DAWG, in fact, did reject several attempts
> to require or make an objective out of several flavors of XQuery
> language in this working specification.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 19 July 2004 11:25:58 UTC

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