W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > May 2014

Re: Workshop and meeting requirements

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2014 13:15:25 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJK2wqXguZnPMQuMYBBXcKuhGKQtauuvZsgO+nswWbKEifb6ag@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Cc: "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Sigh.  I tried to get my objections in early last Friday, but didn't finish
it off and hit send.

On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 5:01 AM, Charles McCathie Nevile <
chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:

> + The requirements are basically "8 weeks notice for a physical meeting in
> normal circumstances". This is reasonable and should not change.

Unless this is the old model of WG participation, where FTF meeting
attendance is mandatory, I don't think this is reasonable; and I think this
is a key point that causes people to feel that
outside-W3C/backchannel/whatever you want to call it meetings are
preferable.  But keep reading...

> + Meeting requirements SHOULD also include remote participation facilities
> (at minimum IRC) and reasonably accurately real-time scribing.

I am 100% for this.  I'm only not 110% for this because I understand math.

> + Working Group decision-making procedures SHOULD be asynchronous.

Also for this, though I press for rough consensus detection in realtime;
you don't need a meeting to make a firm decision on topics.  In fact,
presuming that the goals

> 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.

I think, in the absence of a mandatory FTF meeting attendance requirement,
and with available telepresence, all meetings could be considered virtual,
and then it's not a problem.

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.

Indeed.  I agree with this; meetings should be open to all those that can
(and wish to) participate (within constraints of patent policy, membership,

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.

Waiting two months to have a productive meeting is, in my opinion, onerous.

> 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.

There are underlying principles here that need not be in conflict.  You
state this as "denying WG members the opportunity to participate is [bad];"
 I agree with that.  At the same time, I would point out that in practical
matters, there are usually a set of stakeholders that MUST be in the room;
for example, right now in Web Audio I would want Paul Adenot, Jer Noble,
and myself in the room, or it would hamper productive discussion.  I would
(and will) optimize around getting those people in the room.

> ==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.

... and needs to be heavily encouraged to do more to make this happen.
 This is 2014.  There are many off-the-shelf options for providing remote
participation in meetings.  IRC is a good tool.  Minuting is a good tool.
 Audio streaming is solved.  Video teleconferencing is solved.

> 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.

Between async decisionmaking, remote participation, and openness of
invitation, I see no reason to continue to make it sound like 8 weeks of
notice is a requirement for a task-force level meeting of any WG/CG; in
fact, I feel like it's counter-productive.

I don't think the rules need to change, per se; but I do think that it
needs to be clear that they generally don't have to apply.

On Mon, May 12, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:

> I want to make sure that W3C makes it easy for people to get together
> under W3C auspices to solve web technical problems.  I don't care whether
> it is called a workshop or a summit.  The fact that the TAG found a way to
> meet to discuss web technical problems I view as a good thing, not a
> problem.

A laudable goal.  I think the TAG's event was not really "under W3C
auspices" - i.e., I don't see how it fits under the given guidelines, but
it was (imo) clearly a good thing.  For example, it matched most closely to
the Workshop model, but it was announced with just under 3 weeks of notice.
 I applaud their going ahead and doing it anyway.  I would like to suggest
such meetings are a Good Thing(tm), despite the fact that I am clearly too
old to be part of the Github Generation (tm pending).

On 5/12/2014 11:32 AM, Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) wrote:

> Whatever the facts, it seems to me that more and more people are
> PERCEIVING W3C as a place with all sorts of annoying rules that constrain
> rather than promote collaboration.
> I believe saying "the current rules are good enough," without explaining
those boundaries and when they're applicable and when they can and should
be discarded, perpetuates that perception.

>  -Chris
Received on Monday, 12 May 2014 20:15:53 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:35:10 UTC