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RE: Proposed wording comment 9 appeal -> Re: dropping the request -> Re: w3process-ACTION-47: Produce a proposal for addressing wayne's "comment 9" - allowing appeal where the director's decision isn't the same as the proposal sent for review.

From: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2015 05:01:15 +0000
To: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>, "chaals@yandex-team.ru" <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Olle Olsson <olleo@sics.se>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BN1PR0201MB0802EA2FD97BD73C84D65266AE0A0@BN1PR0201MB0802.namprd02.prod.outlook.com>
Comments inline below.
Steve Z

From: Wayne Carr [mailto:wayne.carr@linux.intel.com]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 12:58 PM
To: Stephen Zilles; chaals@yandex-team.ru; Olle Olsson; public-w3process@w3.org
Subject: Re: Proposed wording comment 9 appeal -> Re: dropping the request -> Re: w3process-ACTION-47: Produce a proposal for addressing wayne's "comment 9" - allowing appeal where the director's decision isn't the same as the proposal sent for review.


On 2015-03-22 23:38, Stephen Zilles wrote:
Top-posting to summarize where I think we are on Wayne Carr’s Comment 9

Two changes were proposed:

1.     Allow appeals when the Director denies a proposal (various wordings to make this possible have been proposed).

2.     Add an recently added item, relicensing a document, to the appeal list.
[I could find no text for relicensing a document in either Process 2014 or in the current draft of Process 2015, what am I missing?]
This isn't in Process 2014 because it is a policy that was adopted by the AC and Director in December 2014.  I'm asking that it be put into the current draft of Process 2014.
[SZ] Putting it in the process would mean that the “relicensing” should be part of the process, but that is not what you proposed. The list in 8.2 has, to date, been a summary of statements made elsewhere in the process. Your proposal would change that. I think we should first consider whether “the relicensing decision” should be part of the process before deciding on the “appeal aspect.” Note that I am not opposing adding this to the process only to changing the structure.

Part of my reason for approaching the problem this way is that I believe that having two places where the same information is stated tends to lead to difficulties maintaining the Process. I am interested in removing the (redundant) list of appeal topics in 8.2 and have only (cleaned up) statements of the appeals throughout the Process. That means that “relicensing” would need to be part of the Process.


The following post has a link to the policy, a link to the post that said it was approved and a link to W3C's page on licensing  policies where it is included.  There is also a link to the section where it says the AC can appeal the decision after the AC Review of the specific relicensing proposal.
https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-w3process/2015Mar/0091.html


It already is a current policy where an appeal is allowed.  It was approved after the last Process update, so it needs to be added to the list of where appeals are allowed.  That's all this part is.



Two points of view have been expressed:

1.     These are simple changes so they should be incorporated in Process 2015

2.     We should not waste time, for Process 2015, with things that (a) seem not to have been problems in the past, (b) may not be so simple to fix, and (c) would require another round of review to insure that they are done correctly.

As far as I, as the Chair of the Process Document Task Force, can see, there is, as yet, no consensus on either of those two positions. Without consensus, the Null Position, that we should do nothing (for Process 2015) would seem the right way to go.

And I dropped it.  And then David Baron and David Singer brought up use cases that are more compelling than the one I used.  Some of the objections also were to the particular rewording that Chaals proposed.  The wording I'm proposing is closer to the original.  I haven't heard the previous objections repeated in light of what the 2 David's brought up.
[SZ] I brought up an objection below in response to Chaals proposed wording, but it equally applies to your wording. The point is that there is a difference between decisions about charter (for which it is likely better to  fix the problem identified by the Director in his rejection) and Proposed RECs (which should be done and probably should be appealable if rejected without and Member Objection). Your wording applies to both classes as 8.2 now reads. This could be fixed by removing Charter appeals from the “dissent” category because neither 6.2.4 nor 6.2.5 require dissent for an appeal. But, it does not work to just make the change you propose.


In the course of discussions, there are objections, clarifications, better understandings of the problem and possible solutions.  That discussion doesn't mean that a final proposal has those previous objections.

Are there actual objections now, to the wording I suggested?  I haven't heard any yet.



As noted by David Singer, there are a number of possible issues with Appeals as they are currently documented and we should treat them systematically (in Process 2016 or beyond).  So doing nothing now does not mean not doing anything at all.

The serious problem that David Singer brought up (approving a proposal and the director substantively alters and approves the modified proposal) is addressed by the wording of my proposal.
[SZ] I am not arguing that this could be a significant problem. However, it has never occurred and seems unlikely to occur in the near future. Therefore, doing a comprehensive review of Appeals in Process 2016 still seems to me the right way to handle this problem.


David brought up a different issue, a much more minor one, that in some instances it says AC rep appeal and sometimes AC appeal.  But, the process itself on an appeal is very clear.  An AC rep appeals, if there is 5% of the AC supporting the appeal there is an AC appeals vote.  No one has said there is any uncertainty about that.



It seems to me there are other problems similar to the ones that Wayne raised. For example, section 8.2 says that decisions to create, modify or extend a Working Group can only be appealed if there is “dissent”, but there is no such clause in sections 6.2.4 and 6.2.5 where these appeals are defined. Actually, Working Group extension is in both the list requiring dissent and in the list that is always appealable. Why is fixing one such mistake better than fixing all? Is it not better to do a careful re-examination of Appeals in all there instances?

Things tend to be defined multiple times in the Process which can lead to inconsistencies.  Needing some trivial wording cleanup, isn't a reason to leave a glaring hole in the process that AC reps have found a concern.  I'd think the summary part is what says what gets appealed, not where it says it for every individual case.  The individual cases should just say they can be appealed and point to the summary part we're talking about.  But, it doesn't matter!  That's minor.  Not being able to appeal a charter where there are no objections and where the Director decides after hearing the AC discussion to reject it is not minor, given that if 1 AC rep had said to reject it, then we could appeal the rejection.  That's silly.  It's asking for a single nonsensical objection each time just to be able to appeal.





See one additional inline comment below

Steve Zilles
From: chaals@yandex-team.ru<mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru> [mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru]
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2015 6:17 AM
To: Wayne Carr; Olle Olsson; public-w3process@w3.org<mailto:public-w3process@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Proposed wording comment 9 appeal -> Re: dropping the request -> Re: w3process-ACTION-47: Produce a proposal for addressing wayne's "comment 9" - allowing appeal where the director's decision isn't the same as the proposal sent for review.



20.03.2015, 23:44, "Wayne Carr" <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com<mailto:wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>>:
I think we have more agreement that there is a problem.

Indeed.

  Is there any disagreement with the following language to fix it?

Works for me. I'd also support, even more strongly, "appeal decisions, unless there was no dissent and the Director's Decision is to approve the proposal unchanged, for the following:"
[SZ] I would note that there is currently (in Process 2014) one case where an appeal when the Director denies a proposal is specifically disallowed. This is in section 5.2 Advisory Committee Review of an Activity Proposal whose final paragraph says, “Note: There is no appeal of a decision not to create an Activity; in general, drafting a new Activity Proposal will be simpler than following the appeal process.” (Yes this is a Note and we are removing Activities, but the point is that there may be cases, such as this one, where fixing the problem and trying again is a better solution than appealing the decision.)

I note David's concern that we should go through the document finding the rest of the decisions that could be appealed and make sure it makes sense, but I think that is a separable task.

cheers


(also adds the relicensing appeal which was previously approved as a new appeal and just needs to be added to the list)

CURRENT TEXT
[[
When Advisory Committee review immediately precedes a decision, Advisory Committee representatives MAY only appeal when there is dissent<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#def-Dissent>. These decisions are:

  *   Publication of a Recommendation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#rec-publication> or Publication of a Rescinded Recommendation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#proposed-rescinded-rec>,
  *   Activity creation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#ActivityProposal>, modification<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#ActivityModification>, or extension<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#ActivityExtension>,
  *   Working or Interest Group creation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#cfp> or extension<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#charter-extension>,
  *   Changes to the W3C process<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#GAProcess>.
]]


PROPOSED TEXT
[[

When Advisory Committee review immediately precedes a decision, Advisory Committee representatives MAY appeal the following decisions, with the exception that appeal is not permitted if there is no dissent<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#def-Dissent> and the Director approves the proposal without substantive change . These decisions are:

  *   Publication of a Recommendation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#rec-publication> or Publication of a Rescinded Recommendation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#proposed-rescinded-rec>,
  *   Working or Interest Group creation<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#cfp> or extension<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#charter-extension>,
  *   Relicensing Unfinished Specifications,<http://www.w3.org/2014/10/relicense.html>
  *   Changes to the W3C process<http://www.w3.org/2014/Process-20140801/#GAProcess>.
]]


On 2015-03-20 05:02, chaals@yandex-team.ru<mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:

20.03.2015, 12:02, "Olle Olsson" <olleo@sics.se><mailto:olleo@sics.se>:

On 2015-03-19 22:57, David Singer wrote:

 .......

 For that list of decisions after AC Review that can be appealed, the only exclusion not allowing appeal should be approval of the proposal without substantive change with no AC Review dissent (formal objection).  i.e. everyone agreed and nothing changed so even though its in the list, no appeal in that case.

 And indeed if a re-review is requested, you can’t now comment on unchanged material!

A change somewhere that seems to be local may  actually influence how

other unchanged text will be interpreted. If someone accepted that other

text in its original formulation, they might reject it after a change is

done somewhere else.

Right.



If the director decides to follow the original proposal, and nobody dissented from that, I am happy to say "no appeal".



If the director starts changing things, I'd rather leave in the possibility of appeal on the off-chance that the changes were more controversial than they seemed to the director.



Given the scarcity of appeals (and the overwhelming difficulty of mounting one) I think this an exception-handling mechanism that isn't going to have a high cost, but not having it available seems to be a mistake (as Wayne pointed out in the first place).



cheers



 .....

 David Singer Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.

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