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Re: Obsoleting a Recommendation, round two

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 15:29:43 -0700
Cc: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-id: <A6BDFCB0-DB55-425D-93EA-278B53B85DC6@apple.com>
To: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>

> On Apr 29, 2016, at 14:47 , Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com> wrote:
> 
>>> So I'd make this:
>>> The TAG MUST make a recommendation on whether to proceed, by formal decision of the TAG.  The Director decides whether to proceed and that decision (either positive or negative) is subject to AC Appeal.
>> I have a hard time seeing why we should proceed to Obsolete if the TAG actively disagrees. Surely we err on the side of NOT obsoleting?
> 
> Because the TAG is a particular group of people.  It isn't the W3C Membership.  There should be a way that if the Membership (the AC) wants a REC obsoleted, it gets obsoleted.

But if the TAG disagrees — the consensus of the TAG is that no, it’s not obsolete — then (a) they’ll ask their AC Reps to object formally and (b) the Director is likely to say ‘no’ even if the AC says ‘yes’. We’re failing later and wasting people’s time.

As I say, if some chunk of the community OTHER than the original authors/proponents thinks it’s not obsolete (the original proponents may think it the bee’s knees for the rest of their lives), I rather doubt we SHOULD be declaring it obsolete.  Basically, something is only obsolete if everyone (outside the proponents) has lost interest — never implemented, never expect to.  If you can’t persuade the TAG to obsolete, what hopes with the wider community?

The Director is a TAG member. If he would approve obsoletion, he can say so in the TAG meeting that discusses it. I have a hard time seeing why the Director would ask the AC if the TAG can’t agree.

The TAG is also supposed to represent the membership and the interests of the web as a whole, i.e. in some sense it’s not their personal or corporate agenda or opinion at play, it’s their understanding of the web and the industry.

This is a new lightweight ‘marking’ on Recs we have already published, after all. If we can’t agree to mark as so, the status quo (no marking) should prevail, no?

So I am unconvinced that the AC Appeal process (which is heavy, and has never been used) should be at play here to force something onto the AC’s ballot list.

(By the way, in your proposal, one does not need an appeal for the case where the Director decides yes, I think it’s obsolete, let’s ballot the AC; the AC has a ballot where it can say ‘no’.)

So, roughly, 

Initiation:
* anyone suggests to the TAG (including TAG members)

Sanity Check:
* on receipt of suggestion, TAG says “we’ll be considering this at our upcoming meeting/call on xx/xx”, pings any relevant WGs to make sure (if any)
* at the meeting/call, TAG says ‘yup, seems obsolete to us’, or ‘no, we think it is still alive’ (shades of parrots here)

Community check:
* If TAG says ‘yes’, the AC is ballotted

Formal decision:
* If the AC agrees, possibly after dispute resolution, the Director makes the final decision to mark as obsolete

For a lightweight marking, this already seems pretty heavy.  Having “you can over-ride the TAG’s sanity check by invoking the formal AC Appeal process” seems really heavy to me, and rather likely that the proposal will simply fail later at more cost.


David Singer
Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Friday, 29 April 2016 22:30:19 UTC

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