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Re: Overall structure of the W3C

From: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:33:55 -0700
Message-ID: <53DBCF83.20406@linux.intel.com>
To: public-w3process@w3.org

On 2014-08-01 03:27, Charles McCathie Nevile wrote:
> On Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:02:21 +0200, Nottingham, Mark 
> <mnotting@akamai.com> 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:
> Yes. That was the problem, and I agree that the AB's big permanent 
> task is to look at whether the W3C is appropriately organised...
>> 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?
> My member view is that it is far too focused on the US, with a nod to 
> Europe, meaning the multi-site model is not solving th problem is was 
> meant to solve.
>>     b. Is the Team's size and makeup appropriate to our current 
>> workload, considering our limited resources?
> Good question. This is something that I think belongs in the scope of 
> the AC, rather than a public group.

I'm not getting the focus on team makeup and size.  That seems like 
micromanaging.  An alternative, that may get at what this one may have 
been about, could be to ask if there are alternative ways to get more 
done with limited resources.  There seems to be a move towards this 
already with the increasing use of Community Groups to do some of what 
otherwise would be done in more heavyweight WGs (more heavyweight in 
both process and resources).  CGs could be used more broadly for early 
spec development and for more experimental specs.  A consideration there 
would be how to ensure CGs that are tightly connected to W3C are 
consensus based, since CGs don't have to have charters that ensure 
that.  The CG charter template was an effort to get at that while 
leaving CGs lightweight and flexible.

A question could be whether to expand what is already happening in CGs 
or whether it would be useful to duplicate it in a similar, lighter 
weight type of WG.

There are already decisions about whether things should go in a CG (one 
that mirrors a WG or one that mirrors an IG) or an IG or a WG. The AB 
could look at whether that helps in issues about the impact of the 
membership model or need for resources.

>>     c. Is the Membership model effective in furthering the goals of 
>> the W3C? What other options are there?
> IMHO, I think it is important. Although it is not entirely 
> representative (and to a certain extent shadows the US-heavy focus), 
> having stakeholders actually holding a financial stake is on balance a 
> Good Thing™ in the effort to ensure that W3C is moving in sensible 
> directions.
> But alternatives may be interesting, and are worth looking at.

Alternatives to membership I'd think would be constrained by the current 
need to raise a lot of money.  If it was decided some other model would 
be better than membership, the question would become how to raise a lot 
of money or how to change the structure not to need a lot of money.

> cheers
>> 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."
>> Cheers,
>> -- 
>> Mark Nottingham    mnot@akamai.com    https://www.mnot.net/
Received on Friday, 1 August 2014 17:34:28 UTC

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