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Re: Overall structure of the W3C

From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 09:45:08 -0400
Message-ID: <53DB99E4.6030409@w3.org>
To: "Nottingham, Mark" <mnotting@akamai.com>, Revising W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>

On 7/31/2014 11:02 PM, Nottingham, Mark wrote:
> On <https://www.w3.org/wiki/AB/2014-2015_Priorities>, the first bullet in "Overall structure of the W3C" is:
>> 1. Is the Consortium's current heavy weight structure that was created in 1994 still needed now?
> and Chaals comments: "We don't use the process we had in 1995 or even in 2005. This question is rhetorically sound but irrelevant."
> I have to disagree here; this is THE question that the AB should be addressing. If there's a problem with how the question is phrased, that's easy enough to fix:
> 1. Is the Consortium's current structure appropriate to the tasks at hand and the resources available? Specifically:
>      a. Is the multiple-Host model helpful to the goals of the W3C, or a hinderance? Are there alternatives?
>      b. Is the Team's size and makeup appropriate to our current workload, considering our limited resources?
>      c. Is the Membership model effective in furthering the goals of the W3C? What other options are there?
> As a Member, I'd especially like to understand what the multi-Host model brings to the table; we don't hear much about it, nor the activities of the "Steering Committee" (see <http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Agreement/Appendix1-2013.html> section 3g), which "sets overall policy and provides strategic guidance and review of the Consortium's activities."

Your points 1a, 1b, 1c above have received some comment on the list; in 
particular many people have commented that the AB and AC should be 
looking at this.

There has not been too much discussion about the multi-Host model and 
let me provide some basic information.

W3C of course, is not a legal entity.  There are four legal entities 
(the Hosts) that have a contract to work with each other and the 
Membership on web standards and it is these host agreements and member 
agreements that make up W3C (from a legal/contractual point of view).

In 2008-2009 a task force recommended an ultimate goal to create a legal 
entity, and a short-term step along the way to create a lightweight HQ 
function.  Since 2010, we have had a lightweight HQ at MIT.  There are 
ongoing discussions about what an ultimate structure for a legal entity 
would look like and what would be the appropriate timing for this.

The Steering Committee has not met for several years, mostly due to 
turnover of the Host leadership at the various Hosts.  There is an 
expectation that the Steering Committee will meet this fall.

> Cheers,
> --
> Mark Nottingham    mnot@akamai.com    https://www.mnot.net/
Received on Friday, 1 August 2014 13:45:18 UTC

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