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

From: Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 20:42:54 -0800
Cc: Matthias Schunter <mts@zurich.ibm.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <4DD47919-5661-4E9F-8682-EA680C21AD29@w3.org>
To: ifette@google.com
On Mar 7, 2012, at 4:28 PM, Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) wrote:
> 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."

Right, chairs consider opinions and record decisions, possibly after a formal vote. The Process doesn't require formal votes, it just recommends against their use in all substantive cases except a lack of any other way to overcome a deadlock. (I feel like I'm repeating myself here, sorry; let me know what I can do to clarify.)

> "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.

As the chairs have noted several times on calls and at the last face-to-face, a perfectly valid text proposal for an issue would be the lack of text, or that a piece of existing text should be removed.

> 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".

If an issue is raised, opened for discussion by the group and no one is willing to propose a resolution for it upon consideration by the group, I'm not sure the value of keeping it open, especially since we can re-open issues when new arguments or information arises. That being said, I believe there have been cases on calls where the group has chosen to postpone (just leave as "raised" rather than "open") issues that we knew we wanted to come back to, if for example an issue depended on the outcome of some other issue.

I think the past five weeks have seen a lot of progress from the group partly because of the focus on providing text proposals for open issues. If you think the chairs are proposing closing an issue and are incorrect about the lack of interest, please speak up! The chairs will usually at that point suggest that you take an action to write some sort of proposal for that issue; as the Process notes elsewhere, a good objection proposes changes that would address the objection.

Hope this helps,
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2012 04:42:58 UTC

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