W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > March 2012

Re: Documentation of the updated decision process of the DNT WG

From: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 16:45:33 -0800
Message-Id: <3CD10E56-2B77-4FF5-83CC-2A6BDBB8B258@consumerwatchdog.org>
Cc: Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>, Matthias Schunter <mts@zurich.ibm.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
To: ifette@google.com
Hi Ian,

I've been following your concern about changes in process.  For what's worth, I was in Brussels and I thought the notes and Matthias Schutner's comment as entered into IRC by the scribe:

" our primary goal is to have a complete document end-to-end 
... I feel we have agreement and we're now allowed to get on your nerves a bit more"

accurately reflected a consensus in the room to go forward with the process.

I also note that the minutes record your colleague Sean Harvey as saying:

"this all sounds reasonable 
... how does this connect to the mini-groups we're looking at today? 
... everything you've described in this process sounds fair" 

As ever,
On Mar 7, 2012, at 4:28 PM, Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) wrote:

> Hi Nick,
> Reply inline:
> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 4:13 PM, Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org> wrote:
> On Mar 7, 2012, at 2:21 PM, Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) wrote:
> > I see the discussion of the process, I also see concerns. I don't see any resolution recorded or any vote.
> >
> > I will also note that the charter of this group specifically says
> >
> > "As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.
> Right. As noted in both the Charter and in the Process Document, chairs may need to record decisions when there is dissent in order for the group to move on, a formal vote is one step that may be involved. Here, Aleecia and Matthias are just documenting how they plan to record decisions (text proposals and counter-proposals, calls for objections, Working Group decision, re-opening on new information).
> According to 3.4, a vote is in order when all means of reaching consensus have failed and a vote is necessary to proceed past deadlock. In this case, there are requirements that MUST be followed for the vote. The charter of this WG states that we will attempt consensus, and that if we cannot reach it, the chairs will, after "consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on."
> "If no text proposals are written for an issue, the chairs may choose to close the issue for apparent lack of interest." does not jive well with that. An issue implies a lack of consensus. It may be that there is no good alternate text that solves an issue and that the best the group can do is to drop a part of the spec as there is no text that will lead to consensus and/or an implementable solution. The Chairs should not be empowered to merely close an issue which indicates a lack of consent by implying that the lack of alternate text is an "apparent lack of interest".
> > This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires."
> >
> > Section 3.4 of the W3C process document is quite specific about voting requirements, and our charter specifically states no procedure beyond what the W3C process document requires are adopted by the group.
> If the chairs plan to decide consensus based on a formal vote, then we would use Section 3.4 as that process (rather than requiring a specific supermajority, say, or setting any other conditions).
> > This seems like a significant change to the charter of the group which should wait for the rechartering discussion.
> I think this is just an explanation of how the chairs plan to determine Working Group decisions (as described in the Process Document, proposals that create the weakest objections) rather than a charter change that needs wider Advisory Committee review. That the chairs saw a lot of support (along with some concerns, certainly) for this procedure at our Brussels meeting suggested to me that their explanation is acceptable.
> I don't see how a working group can adopt something before there's a concrete written proposal. At best, such support should be construed as a willingness to review such a written proposal, which is what we are now doing and said proposal I am objecting to (still in the lower-case 'o' sense, though I would like to discuss this before it is applied, or I will Object.)
> Thanks,
> Nick

John M. Simpson
Consumer Advocate
Consumer Watchdog
1750 Ocean Park Blvd. ,Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA,90405
Tel: 310-392-7041
Cell: 310-292-1902
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2012 00:45:51 UTC

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