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RE: [ALL] draft process for producing WG Notes

From: McBride, Brian <brian.mcbride@hp.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2004 16:55:05 +0100
Message-ID: <E864E95CB35C1C46B72FEA0626A2E808036153C6@0-mail-br1.hpl.hp.com>
To: Guus Schreiber <schreiber@cs.vu.nl>, SWBPD <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

Thanks for this Guus.

[...]

> 
> 2. The TF starts work to produce a note. At some point the TF
>     coordinator signals to the Working Group that the note is (almost)
>     ready for public review. The TF coordinator asks the WG to review
>     the note prior to public review.
> 
> 3. The WG assigns at least one WG participant outside the TF to review
>     the note. The internal reviewing period should typically be 1-2
>     weeks. The WG may either (1) take a decision directly to publish
>     the note as a working draft for public review, leaving it to the
>     discretion of the author(s) and reviewer(s) to revise the 
> draft, or
>     (2) postpone the decision to publish as working draft till after
>     the review/revision process is completed.

There are (at least) two possible models here:

  1) the WG produces a draft "to the best of its ability" and then seeks
public review.  In this model publication for public review would be like
last call and would only be done once consensus had been reached (or disent
overruled) in the WG.

  2) the WG produces a draft and seeks early comment and input from the
community.  This is common Working Draft (initial caps indicate formal W3C
Working Draft) process.  One does not need consensus on the content to
publish for external review, though it is common practice to not points of
disagreement and specifically seek feedback.

The test here is whether voting for first publication indicates agreement to
the content.  I think we need to be clear about this.

> 
> 4. The note is published as a working draft [note a] of the WG,

This appears to be inventing new process.  The embryo note could be
published as a Working Draft with a status section saying that it is not a
rec track document. 

From the process doc

[[
7.1.2 Maturity Level When Ending Work on a Technical Report

Working Group Note
    A Working Group Note is published by a chartered Working Group to
indicate that work has ended on a particular topic. A Working Group MAY
publish a Working Group Note with or without its prior publication as a
Working Draft.
]] 

This text at least suggests the publishing WDs and then turning them into
notes has been forseen.  I'm not disagreeing with Guus' proposal, but I
suggest the WG should understand why it is necessary to adopt a novel
process.

Will the drafts be like tag findings and located in the web space of the WG?


>     requesting public review. The draft should identify the mailing
>     list to which comments should be sent (at the moment
>     public-swbp-wg@w3.org with an appropriate message-label
>     suggestion). The draft should also specify the review period
>     (typically 4-6 weeks).
> 
> 5. The WG will strive for consensus on the contents of a WG Note,
>     bearing in mind that the consensus can be of a different 
> level than
>     required for a recommendation.

Consensus, as understood in W3C feels kinda binary to me; either there is
expressed dissent or there is not.  I suspect Guus means:

  - we might hope the community will be more tolerant of things in a note
they don't really agree with and more willing to abstain than they would be
for a rec.

  - whilst the goal is consensus, the WG may not strive so hard to reach it,
as it would for a rec.

I'm kinda nervous about the second of these.  Consensus seems to me be at
the core of W3C values.

There is probably not a lot of point in discussing this in the abstract; its
better to wait till/if we have a problem.  I'd suggest droping the "bearing
in mind clause" though.

What we might do is adopt a the principal that if there is dissent, we don't
ignore it, and if we can't reach consensus, we must at least document the
dissent.

Brian
Received on Tuesday, 8 June 2004 11:56:32 UTC

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