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Revisions to Chapter 7 of the W3C Process Document

From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:07:44 -0400
Message-ID: <52697000.5020703@w3.org>
To: "w3c-ac-forum@w3.org" <w3c-ac-forum@w3.org>, "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>
CC: "ab@w3.org" <ab@w3.org>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Colleagues,

The Advisory Board proposes revisions to Chapter 7 (Technical Report 
Development Process) of the W3C Process to make it simpler to 
understand, crisper to execute, yet still consistent with the patent 
policy, by enabling process steps to happen in parallel.

Almost two years ago, the Advisory Board began looking for ways to make 
specification development more agile. Both in fora, such as TPAC [1], 
and via e-mail and member surveys a number of potential topics were 
identified [2] and prioritized [3].

In the November 2012 TPAC Meeting [4], the Advisory Board realized that 
some of the major issues related to agility were in the complexity of 
Last Call, Candidate Recommendation and Proposed Recommendation. Because 
these are completely specified in Chapter 7 of the current W3C Process, 
we have focused on a modified Chapter 7 which is being sent to you as a 
"Last Call" Document [5] prior to Review by the Advisory Committee and 
adoption. The remaining process issues (those not directly related to 
Chapter 7) have been tabled until a future revision of the W3C Process. 
Advisory Committee Review will be done on a complete Process Document 
with the current Chapter 7 replaced by the Chapter 7 that results from 
Last Call. The current Chapter 7 is at [6].

*Motivation:* Web technology development has changed greatly over the 
past 20 years, and these changes keep the W3C Process in step.  Just as 
"agile" software development stresses rapid iteration between design and 
implementation, Web technologies are now implemented and deployed in 
parallel with spec development. This allows us to combine the Last Call 
and Candidate Recommendation steps since implementation and testing are 
more frequently happening earlier than when the W3C Process was 
formulated. The recent emphasis on early and continuous testing, plus 
the reality that almost all WGs operate in public, means that specs are 
widely reviewed in parallel with their polishing and testing. Having 
fewer process steps while making the entrance and exit criteria more 
clear and explicit should make the process simpler to understand.  
Refinement and review activities happen in parallel which should make 
standardization faster.  We maintain alignment with the Patent Policy to 
minimize disruption. In addition to combining LC and CR, the definitions 
of "wide review" and "implementation experience" are clarified and some 
non-normative "advice" has been removed to provide crisper exposition.

Comments and requests for clarification are welcome.  This work is done 
in public and the public-w3process@w3.org 
<mailto:public-w3process@w3.org> mailing list is the best place to send 
comments and questions.

Jeff Jaffe, Chair, W3C Advisory Board
Charles McCathie-Nevile, Editor, W3C Process Document
Steve Zilles, Chair, W3C Process Document Task Force

[1] There were a number of relevant break-out sessions at TPAC 2011:
http://www.w3.org/wiki/TPAC2011/Agile_Standardization
http://www.w3.org/wiki/TPAC2011/Revisiting_how_W3C_creates_standards
http://www.w3.org/wiki/TPAC2011/Fixing_schedule_delays
http://www.w3.org/wiki/TPAC2011/W3C_Publications_Ecosystem
       and at TPAC 2012:
http://www.w3.org/wiki/TPAC2012/agile_W3C_Process_Agility
http://www.w3.org/wiki/TPAC2012/session-tr
http://www.w3.org/2012/10/31-testing-minutes.html
[2] 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2012Mar/att-0007/AB_List_of_Concerns-20120306.htm
[3] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2012AprJun/0024.html
[4] 
https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-members/2012OctDec/0053.html, Day 
2, item 4.
[5] http://www.w3.org/2013/10/LC-TRprocess-20131024
[6] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/process.html#Reports 
<http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/process.html>
Received on Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:07:51 UTC

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