W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > February 2012

RE: "Living Standards"

From: Carr, Wayne <wayne.carr@intel.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 18:30:21 +0000
To: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>, Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
CC: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <52F8A45B68FD784E8E4FEE4DA9C6E52A33EF1522@ORSMSX101.amr.corp.intel.com>
>My point is that there should be no hoop-jumping at all. It should just be deemed
>that a spec is in a given phase (e.g., "LC"), and the document is edited in place:
>that would make everybody happy. It would also do away with having to have
>multiple Last Calls in a row (which are bad, because WGs sometimes discard the
>Disposition of Comments for any preceding last calls and only record comments
>from the last Last Call). So, instead of issuing Last Call after Last Call after Last
>Call, the WG and Editor need to actively pursue feedback from vendors and other

I think this gets at a key reason for the way the current stages are done that gets overlooked.

W3C patent policy obligates all WG members for essential claims for the entire spec.  Not just their contributions, but for the entire spec.

There are opt out periods where a member can declare they won't license some part of the spec.  That happens at First Public Working Draft and each Last Call, where whatever was already in one of those previous opt out opportunities is already committed to, so opt out is only for new additions.  It is expensive and difficult for Legal departments to do this review.  They cannot be sitting there day to day for months watching editor's make and unmake changes.  There need to be a small number of fixed reviews when the material is stable.  So, for anything that changes licensing obligations and there has to be another Last Call to set off the opt out review period.

The alternative to that is to change the patent policy and NOT have licensing obligations apply to the entire spec, but instead only to one's own contributions.  If people want it to apply to more, then there are these costs in making review practical.

An alternative is Community Groups where the commitment that is required is just for contributions.  WGs can choose to do their work in a Community Group and have a "living spec" and move to a WG formal stage when they want to progress towards REC (presumably for the parts that are stable).

As to minor editorial changes, like the non-normative change to the example:  I don't think that would trigger another Last Call.  So there probably isn't any reason not to change that in place with careful documentation about what is changed as long as it doesn't change what the essential patent claims are.  There could be a non-normative section at the end of a publication containing proposed changes that get collected - that list the changes in the editor's draft and point to the editor's draft.

Instead of an annoying box, why not a sentence like in the top section.  "Please see the Editor's draft for any changes made after this snapshot."  And maybe the change the "Editor's Draft" to be in red.
Received on Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:30:56 UTC

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