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

Re: 2014 Process Regresses Editorial Revision of RECs

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:16:40 -0400
Message-ID: <543F0E68.3000205@inkedblade.net>
To: W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
On 10/15/2014 03:57 PM, Wayne Carr wrote:
> fantasai wrote:
>> Since I don't see any reason to make this more complicated than it
>> was in the 2014 Process, I would like to see this change reverted.
>
> This is supposed to be "Editorial changes or clarifications that do not change the technical content of the specification."
>
> It needs some sort of review to make sure it really is just editorial and also that it isn't making a change people think
> makes it worse.  One possibility could be Director's approval and the AC can choose to appeal the Director's decision with the
> usual timeline (3 weeks to appeal). The problem is you don't want something published that accidentally causes new licensing
> commitments when you think you aren't.
>
> A Director's decision plus appeal rather than PR doesn't really save that much time (3 weeks during which an appeal can happen
> vs 4 weeks review).
>
> Another alternative could be a patent policy change so that Edited Recommendations do not create any additional Essential
> Claims (even when someone accidentally adds something that otherwise would create new Essential Claims).  And make them always
> be called Edited Recommendations so that applies.  Then we could loosen up the rules on how easy it is to change the text
> without worrying it is changing patent commitments.  That probably is worth doing anyway because these aren't supposed to be
> causing patent commitments.  It also simplifies doing them when there isn't a WG to do it.

I think it would be important for a WG to explicitly review and
ratify each change that goes into a REC, including editorial ones,
and not just rely on the editor to make that judgement--to ensure,
as you say, that the change is indeed merely editorial and is an
improvement.

But cycling through PR is not likely to help anyone. Neither the
AC nor the Director have any particular expertise that helps to
notice that the change is not editorial. You may as well ask
Random Technical Mailing List Dude for the official sanction.
Plus, if someone screws up, people should be able to raise that
as a problem 6 months later, not just within the 4-week PR period,
and have that corrected immediately.

Requiring a cycle through PR for this is not an improvement, it's
a regression.

If you're troubled about the possibility of substantive changes
masquerading as editorial ones, let's put in the Process that
at least 3 people, at least two of whom are members of the WG,
at least two of whom are not editors of the spec in question,
and each of whom are employed by different companies, have
vetted the exact wording of a purportedly-editorial change
before it can be published, and it is the responsibility of the
chairs to ensure that this has happened.* That will do a much
better job of guarding against your concerns, with much less
useless overhead, than cycling through PR.

* Alternately, the chair can certify that this was merely a
typo and doesn't need such review.

~fantasai
Received on Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:17:09 UTC

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