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Re: WHATWG/W3C collaboration proposal

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:17:25 -0500
Message-ID: <5473AE75.8000408@intertwingly.net>
To: "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, Revising W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
On 11/21/14 11:59 AM, Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) wrote:
>
> I like the idea of using the URL spec as a test case, but I wonder
> if we shouldn't use this opportunity to go further and try out some
> of Robin Berjon's ideas (if I recall various TPAC conversations
> correctly):
>
> - having a common GitHub repository for WHATWG and W3C versions of a
> spec and shipping W3C Recommendations off a "stabilizing" branch

As noted elsewhere, this may run afoul of the existing W3C Member
agreements and/or Invited Experts agreements.  I'll follow up with W3 Legal.

> - Hosting that repo and the discussion forums for a spec in a
> neutral venue such as WebPlatform.org to encourage broader
> participation.

I checked with the owners of that venue, and they have a separate place
for specs.  I've added my content there:

https://github.com/webspecs/url

I've asked Robin to add this to the index which will cause the spec to
be generated and published.  Once this is done, I'll provide a link.

I am still working with Anne on details as to whether my work can be
integrated into the WHATWG repository, but I am hopeful that the reverse
is something we can come to agreement on quickly, namely that the
content in the WHATWG URL Repository can be merged into the WebSpecs
repository.

> - Experimenting with modern forum tools such as Discourse to seek to
> avoid fragmenting the discussion across  emails, IRC chats, GitHub
> comments, Bugzilla, etc.

Apparently the "alpha test" for that is already underway at
specificition.org, with a plans to move this to webspecs (including all
of the content that has been developed up to that point) once it is ready.

Robin has created an initial category for URL, but at the moment, I
don't seem to be able to update it.  Presumably that can be fixed shortly:

http://discourse.specifiction.org/t/about-the-url-category/691

On 11/23/14 12:41 PM, Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) wrote:
>> Based on a pointer by Anne[1], there may be a problem.
>
> I'm not sure of what Anne's 2012 situation was, but there is now a
> WebApps WG charter [http://www.w3.org/2014/06/webapps-charter.html]
> that *explicitly* specifies that the URL spec may be done under a
> "Dual License as specified in section 8 of the HTML Working Group
> charter,"  which in turn refers a dual license under CC-BY and the
> W3C document license.  The rationale given to the Advisory Committee
> was to allow the URL spec to be developed in collaboration with
> WHATWG.

I don't believe that the dual license you mentioned achieves the goal of 
enabling collaboration with the WHATWG.

> Sam's proposal seems to be an operational plan to make this happen.
> Yes, it would be a problem if the W3C document licensed version of a
> spec is the master copy and those who want to improve it fork off
> derivative specifications.   But if the GitHub version is the master
> copy and the W3C snapshot is a derivative, then presumably one can
> create further forks of the GitHub version without violating the
> copyright on the W3C snapshot.

It may be that master and proposal branches under CC0, stabilizing 
branches under the dual license you mentioned may be the way to go.

> If this is in violation of the Member Agreement, I would have
> expected someone to make that point during the AC review of the
> WebApps charter. IANAL so if this is a real current concern, we
> should loop in Wendy, PSIG, and/or members own legal staff for
> guidance.

Just like you aren't sure about the 2012 situation, I'm not sure about 
the AC review.  But however we got here, here we are.  I'll close the 
loop with W3C Legal.  This work likely won't begin until next week, and 
likely will go multiple business weeks (which, given the holiday season, 
may mean even more calendar weeks).

I also have asked to be placed on the AB agenda for 15 December.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Monday, 24 November 2014 22:18:15 UTC

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