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process.next wish list

From: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:02:13 -0700
Message-ID: <552D8E65.5080905@linux.intel.com>
To: W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
Not meant to set off a discussion, but I wanted to record some possible 
topics for future W3C process changes - 2016+

#1. Advisory Committee (AC) Initiative Process.

AC reviews and polls happen in response to requests from others. The AB 
asks the AC be polled or W3C Staff puts a proposal before the AC.  AC 
discussions happen on the AC list or meetings and someone often turns 
that into a proposal from the AB or Staff, but there isn't a mechanism 
for the AC to directly take action if either the AB or Staff are not 
acting on something the AC wants. As an example, if the AB decides not 
to put a proposed change in the Process document, it doesn't get into 
what the AC ultimately reviews for approval.  AC members can object in 
the AC review and ask for some change.  The Director could then act on 
that.  Or not.  There's no way for the AC to take the initiative to say 
they want something in the proposed Process that will go to review and 
there is no way to initiate AC Reviews.

An AC Initiative process should be defined to enable the AC to:

1) formally state opinions on issues or start straw polls;
2) propose a change to the W3C Process that would be put into the 
proposed Process;
3) initiate an AC Review on a Process change.
4) propose creation of a Working Group;
5) close a Working Group;

2. Change the Process so a Working Group or Interest Group closes when 
the Charter expires.

A Working Group charter can be extended by an email from the Director 
extending it (subject to AC Appeal to override the extension).  A 
Working Group charter can be renewed by an AC Review and Director 
approval of a revised Charter.  If neither happen by the date the 
Charter for a WG expires, then the WG should close on the date of 
Charter expiration.   The current practice is that Working Groups with 
expired charters continue to work as if they have a charter.  That, in 
effect, removes the AC's ability to monitor and approve the continuation 
of Working Groups.  The AC can impact extensions and renewals, but can 
do nothing if WGs are allowed to continue operating without an expired 
Charter.  One negative consequence of this is that the policy for moving 
abandoned work to Community Groups requires that work be stopped on a 
specification.  In an expired group, what has happened is the group 
doesn't function, but it also doesn't close and release the specs.

3. Charter extensions limited to 6 months after the initial Charter 
duration.
Extensions should be to complete work that is almost finished before 
closing the WG or to renew the charter  for a continuing WG if that 
wasn't done on time before Charter expiration.  That should not continue 
for years.  Charter renewal is an opportunity for the AC to review 
whether the WG should change course or to close.  Allowing WGs to 
continue without renewing their charter prevents AC oversight.

4. WG Charters must have clear scope/deliverables.
Working Group charters should be required to have either a very clear 
and focused scope or else a complete list of well described 
deliverables.  It should be possible (for those so inclined ) to 
estimate what types of patents are likely to apply.  This is necessary 
in order to assess the impact of joining the Working Group, since W3C 
patent policy is for all content in all specifications produced by the 
WG.  If the scope is very well defined, then deliverables can be more 
flexible in that scope.  If the scope is broad or vague (e.g. any  API a 
client may need), then the deliverables have to be complete and very 
well defined. It shouldn't be possible that a spec on a surprising 
technology area could appear without rechartering.

5. Add AC Appeals for Director Rejections and for Director Approvals of 
modified proposals.
Currently, after an AC Review of a proposal, the AC can appeal when the 
the Director accepts a proposal over the formal objection of an AC rep.  
However, the AC cannot appeal if the Director reacts to a (non-formal 
objection) comment of an AC rep by changing the proposal and then 
approves that altered proposal (unless there was a formal objection to 
the original proposal). Oddly, the AC could appeal if any AC rep 
formally objected for any random reason, not necessarily having anything 
to do with what the Director changed in the proposal.   Also, if the 
Director,  due to feedback during the review, decides to reject the 
proposal, there is no way to appeal that rejection.  It is thought that 
the AC could just put whatever it is back up for approval (presumably 
after some change related to why the Director decided to reject it).  
But, the AC can't put anything to AC Review.  W3C Management does that, 
so it can't simply be put forward again.

The Process should be changed so that where the Director makes a 
decision on W3C Consensus after a Advisory Committee Review, if the 
Director approves over an AC formal objection or modifies the proposal 
and then approves it, or if the rejects it, then the AC can appeal the 
Director's decision.
Received on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 22:02:43 UTC

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