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RE: Workshop and meeting requirements

From: GALINDO Virginie <Virginie.GALINDO@gemalto.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2014 17:06:55 +0200
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <239D7A53E5B17B4BB20795A7977613A4022CD7C04BFC@CROEXCFWP04.gemalto.com>
Chaals and all,

Some comments on your proposal.

I’m supporting the WG operation clarifications you are offering, including the asynchronous decision to be clearly stated in WG methods.

Sounds good to merge the sections related to WG and Workshop (and to kill Symposium notion).

I am more skeptical to the idea to merge Workshop and F2F meeting requirements. Workshop have their own specificities.
-       Workshop on a specific topic happens once every two or three years (if successful), they are an important milestones in designing the W3C action plan, as such we should make sure no-one misses it. So like for F2F groups 8 weeks advance notice is ok but agenda should be published earlier then WG, as we wanna make sure people will be able to book travel and confirm their interest in this unique event, I thus recommends 3 weeks.
-       Workshop may fit with a large number of attendees – up to now, have seem from 50 to 120 and have sometimes social events, funded by sponsors. This makes the logistic heavier, so confirmation of attendance is expected one week in advance.
-       Reports are hard to write for workshop, impacts on W3C action plan is huge and requires approval of program committee, which is not the same as getting approval/review of chairs and staff, so I suggest to give more time to issue report.
-       Workshop as you mentioned may require position paper to attend, lets keep that clear in the future chapter

I understand that you want to give more freedom to organizer, but on the other hand, it would be a pity to ignore experiments from successful workshop (such as the recent payment one). What do you think about suggesting workshop constraints in the future process chapter with something like.

        Group Face-to-face meetings     Group Distributed meetings      Workshop
Meeting announcement (before)   eight weeks*    one week*       eight weeks*
Agenda available (before)       two weeks       24 hours (or longer if a meeting is scheduled after a weekend or holiday)       three weeks
Participation confirmed (before)        three days      24 hours        one week
Action items available (after)  three days      24 hours        one week days
Minutes available (after)       two weeks       48 hours        three weeks

You did not really address the conference question. I think a dedicated section would help, stating that W3C can also organize conferences, which specificities will be discussed on a case by case basis.

Hope it helps,
Virginie
gemalto

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathie Nevile [mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru]
Sent: vendredi 9 mai 2014 14:02
To: public-w3process@w3.org
Subject: Workshop and meeting requirements

Hi,

I am developing a proposal for the 19 May AB meeting on W3C's Workshop and meeting requirements, and whether they need changes, and I am offering it here for comment.

TL;DR:
+ The requirements are basically "8 weeks notice for a physical meeting
+ in
normal circumstances". This is reasonable and should not change.
+ We need to make it clearer what is required.
+ Meeting requirements SHOULD also include remote participation
+ facilities
(at minimum IRC) and reasonably accurately real-time scribing.
+ Working Group decision-making procedures SHOULD be asynchronous.
+ Process Section 3.2 and Chapter 9 should be merged.

==The current situation
The requirements are basically:

For face to face events, there SHOULD be 8 weeks notice. Working Groups can shorten this by unanimous agreement, Workshops can be held at 6 weeks notice on "urgent topics".
For virtual meetings there SHOULD be one week notice, unless it is held at a regularly scheduled time.
Agenda should be provided in advance of meetings, Action items and minutes should be made available afterward.
All WG members have the right to attend meetings of that Working Group.

Workshop attendance is open to anyone.
Workshops MAY use a structure such as requests for position papers to allocate limited places.

==The problem statement

The position paper/program committee structure has been claimed to be inappropriate for many types of event. This is a non-problem. The statement is true, but using such a process is entirely optional. It is offered as one possible fair and transparent way to determine who gets to take one of a limited number of places, in case that matters. However we should clearly educate our community, especially our chairs and those who organise meetings, on what the requirements are, and are not, in this regard.

The notice requirements are not, I believe, particularly onerous. In many examples of events that "couldn't" happen through W3C, the normal 8 week requirements could easily have been met. In others, it is not clear that it was necessary to waive the normal notice requirement, and it seems that doing so limited relevant people's ability to attend.

The claim that "all the relevant people were available", in the absence of any announcement, is unsustainable. W3C relies on participants self-identifying as relevant stakeholders. The opportunity to influnce the work of W3C is given to all such relevant stakeholders, with the result depending on them doing work. Denying Working Group members the opportunity to participate in a meeting is counter to these principles.

Failing to provide open and fair opportunity to attend relevant meetings also probably violates the conditions under which W3C is an ISO PAS submitter, and in extremis amounts to anti-competitive collusion.

==What to do
W3C meetings are normally minuted in IRC, allowing at least minimal real-time participation, and a detailed record. Working groups MAY request a telephone bridge (or use some other mechanism) to allow for real-time remote voice or video participation. W3C is apparently investigating further possibilities for this.

Some working groups have adopted requirements that binding decisions can only be made asynchronously, providing a realistic opportunity for those unable to attend a meeting to challenge a decision made by those who were.

Both these things are often part of the culture of groups, but are not required and in some cases do not happen. They should be explicitly noted as things that groups SHOULD do - and we should increase the cultural expectation that they will be conditions of agreement to waive minimum notice periods.

Finally, the meeting requirements for Working Group meetings, and Workshops (essentially meetings that do not cover chartered Working Group
business) should be in a single section in the Process. There is a very high degree of overlap, both in the existing text and conceptually.

[1] Section 3.2:
<http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#GeneralMeetings>
and chapter 9 <http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/events.html>

cheers

Chaals

--
Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru<mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru>         Find more at http://yandex.com




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Received on Monday, 12 May 2014 15:07:20 UTC

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