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Re: Proposal: Keep Group Unified, Don't Divide into Taskforces

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 05:15:01 -0500 (EST)
To: public-social-web-talk@w3.org
Message-ID: <alpine.LRH.2.00.0902260506160.24770@tribal>
Quick note:

 	It is possible for WGs to have internal task-forces, although most 
seem to get along without them. Given participation levels and the fact 
that XG's are supposed to be light-weight and have, never to my knowledge, 
had task-forces, reinforces my argument against a task-force based model.

 	More importantly, note that one can contribute to a document 
without being an editor, much less being part of a task force.

 	Most importantly, just because there is not a task force does not 
mean that the topic will not be covered. Creating a task force and 
creating special titles does not necessarily lead to more work actually 
being done. I think the topics of the task forces should all be covered, 
and they are more well-served being covered without any additional layer 
of bureaucracy.

 	One example could be HTML5 [1]. It has hundreds of active members, 
including all major browser vendors, and it has a SINGLE task force, which 
is devoted to communicating and co-ordination between HTML5 and XForms 
WGs. A smaller and more usual example would be the RDF and HTML Taskforce, 
chartered to communicate between XHTML2 and the Semantic Web Deployment WG 

[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/HTML/


On Thu, 26 Feb 2009, Harry Halpin wrote:

> I feel the proposed charter may be too large, due to having too many 
> deliverables (15 at my last count). A smaller charter with (5) deliverables 
> was written earlier. I propose reverting to the earlier charter, and want 
> this discussed at the telecon.  Most  other W3C XGs have a SINGLE 
> deliverable, a final report. I recommend people read the "Quick Start Guide 
> to Incubator Groups" by the W3C and look at the charters of other XGs. [1]
> Also, I believe there is a misunderstanding of the nature of task-forces. 
> Usually task forces are created to communicate *in-between* existing working 
> groups, not *within* working groups. If there are internal task-forces,  will 
> they have separate lists or telecons? Unless this is so, there is no  reason 
> to have separate task-forces. I propose instead we keep the XG simple. Since 
> this proposed charter has therefore become unwieldy [2], I propose that we 
> return to the simpler earlier charter [3]. IMHO I believe the task force 
> model will create a level of unnecessary bureaucracy.
> W3C Process has been developed over years of experience developing 
> specifications like HTML, XML, and more. Having a good and tested process is 
> a good thing. I think it should only be changed as needed, and kept simple.
> Note that deliverables are the contract of  the Incubator Group to the W3C, 
> and it is expected deliverables will be  completed within the XG's time frame 
> (1 year) and have a high-level of quality.
> Extra telecon time can be reserved as needed and task-forces or separate 
> list-servs can be created as needed once the group begins. In general, an 
> open, transparent process with  minimal overhead is the way to go. If there 
> is lots of activity, we can  ask to be made an activity with separate working 
> groups after a year.
> If confused by W3C Process, I suggest people look at the W3C Process document 
> as well for information  about charters and W3C Process in general [4]. This 
> applies especially to  people who are asking for deviations from standard W3C 
> process.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/xg-guide
> [2] http://esw.w3.org/topic/UnifiedSocialXG
> [3] http://esw.w3.org/topic/SocialWebXGCharter
> [4] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process/


 	Harry Halpin
 	Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Received on Thursday, 26 February 2009 10:15:36 UTC

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