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Re: Comments on Process 2016 (3 August 2016 Editor's Draft)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2016 12:45:33 -0500
Cc: public-w3process@w3.org
Message-Id: <4001D7D2-6075-4822-BD45-7CE852344B2A@w3.org>
To: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>

> On Aug 7, 2016, at 12:27 PM, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:
> 
> Hi Ian, all,
> 
> some further comments on these, noting things I expect to change in the next draft - which will probably not be released for at least a couple of weeks or so.
> 
> On Sun, 07 Aug 2016 12:09:11 +0200, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:
> 
>> On Sat, 06 Aug 2016 00:46:08 +0200, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org> wrote:
> 
>>> I read Process 2016 (3 Aug draft [1]) and have some suggestions.
> 
>>> [1] https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/AB/raw-file/cfef536bff0d/cover.html
>>> 
>>> ================
>>> 1 Introduction
>>> 
>>>  --------
>>>  "the W3C equivalent of a Web standard." This struck me as odd on
>>>  this read; equivalent to what?
>>> 
>>>  Proposed: "the W3C expression of a Web standard."
>> 
>> That seems equally awkward. I don't think this is a critical sentence, so I'll wait to see what happens in the general review before I think about this change.
> 
> I'm tempted by "… W3C Recommendation</a> - a Web Standard".
> 
> But I haven't made any change;

+1

[snip]

>>> ===============
>>> 2.1.3.2 Advisory Committee Meetings
>>> 
>>>   "The number of Full and Affiliate W3C Members." There are new
>>>   Membership levels, so this feels a bit off.
>>> 
>>>   Proposed: "Number and profile of W3C Members"
>> 
>> I think there should be some clearer wording, but in principle I agree that this should change to reflect reality.
> 
> For next draft I currently have "The number of W3C Members at each level". Feel free to discuss further…

+1

> 
>>> ===============
>>> 2.4.1 Technical Architecture Group Participation
>>> 
>>>  "Appointees are not required to be on the W3C Team." This was surely
>>>  written long ago and doesn't really speak to actual practice. I do
>>>  not recall a Team appointee, and I also think the Director in
>>>  practice wants to populate the TAG with non-Team.
>>> 
>>>  Proposed: "Appointees SHOULD NOT be from the W3C Team."
>> 
>> I recall a number of team appointees. And this is a substantive change. And the director should be free t appoint whomever he likes - if W3C can't find a way to make a Team member available, when the director considers that person best-qualified for the place, I think that's a problem.
>> 
>> If anything I would suggest that the change be the other way - the restriction on not nominating a Team Member without W3M approval should be removed. If the membership think that a particular team member is one of the (typically two or three in any given year) best people to represent them on the TAG I find it galling that W3C would not work out how to respect that request from the membership.
> 
> I'm not planning to do anything about this without a resolution of the AB or Process CG. Feel free to raise an issue, or I may do so. https://www.w3.org/community/w3process/track/

I’m not in the process CG right now so I can’t raise an issue. So my preference is that you do so. That applies for all the cases you mention adding to the issues list. Let me
know if you think I should sign up and register the issues because it’s unlikely you’ll prioritize this.

>>> ===============
>>> 2.5.3 Advisory Board and Technical Architecture Group Vacated Seats
>>> 
>>>  "the Chair asks the participant to resign." I think this is a bug.
>>>  Because these people are elected, I don't believe this should be
>>>  a "TAG Chair" right but rather a "Director" right.
>>> 
>>>  Proposed: "the Director removes the participant from their seat."
>> 
>> I support the proposed change, but I think it should be given a wider airing.
>> 
>> Also, I don't think it's ever been used once a person has got into the TAG. I'd be in favour of the TAG and AB applying some "good standing" requirements.
> 
> Again I don't plan to do this without a resolution of AB or Process CG.

This one feels like a bug to me for two reasons:

 * I don’t believe that Chairs in ANY groups have the right to remove participants. Section 3.1.2 talks about the Director’s right to do so, however. I think that
   what happened is that “Director” and “Director-as-Chair” were conflated, and that introduced the bug.

 * “asking someone to resign” does not seem to me to cause them to not be in the group. What happens if they say “no” for example?

Thus, I think this is not so much a substantive change but rather a bug fix. However, I understand you’d like to get more visibility.

> 
>>> ===============
>>> 3.1.1 Conflict of Interest Policy
>>> 
>>>  "clearly a function of the individual's affiliations". This sounded
>>>  more editorial than necessary.
>> 
>> I believe this came from the previous editor, but I think it is an accurate statement.
>> 
>>>  Proposed sentence replacement:
>>> 
>>>   "The ability of an individual to fulfill a role within a group
>>>   without risking a conflict of interest depends significantly on the
>>>   individual's affiliations."
>> 
>> I don't think so. I think it is a function of the individual's interests. But I don't particularly object to changing this text.
> 
> Left this alone for now. Feel free to discuss further.

Let me rephrase the comment: the word “clearly” is very conversational and feels out of place here. Another solution is
to delete the word “clearly.”

[snip]

>>> ================
>>> 5.2.4 Call for Participation in a Working Group or Interest Group
>>> 
>>>  --------
>>>  "After a Call for Participation, any Member representatives and
>>>  Invited Experts must be designated (or re-designated)."
>>> 
>>>  I believe Team practice is slightly different:
>>> 
>>>   a) If the charter involves no new Rec-track deliverables (and thus
>>>      there are no new patent obligations), participants are informed
>>>      of the new charter but are not required to rejoin.
>>> 
>>>      Otherwise, Members are asked to rejoin.
>>> 
>>>   b) Regarding Invited Experts, I don't exactly know what happens,
>>>      including whether they must re-apply to participate.
>>> 
>>>   Therefore, I believe this sentence needs review.
>> 
>> I believe Team practice is in fact to follow the Process. If not, since this hasn't changed in over a decade, I suggest that it is Team Practice that should be reviewed, unless there is explicit pressure to make a change to the Process.
> 
> I'm not planning to do anything for this.

Could you say a bit more why?

>>>   --------
>>>   "If a charter includes deliverables that continue work on a
>>>   document"
>>> 
>>>   This is the first time this concept appears in the document and it
>>>   is introduced with no explanation. The concept is developed in
>>>   5.2.6 (see my comments about that section). The sentence in 5.2.4
>>>   is repeated in section 5.2.6. I think 5.2.4 can be simplified to
>>>   just include a reference.
>>> 
>>>   Proposed: Replace
>>> 
>>>      "If a charter includes deliverables that continue work
>>>       on a document for which a Reference Draft or Candidate
>>>       Recommendation has previously been published (i.e there has
>>>       been an Exclusion Opportunity per section 4.1 of the W3C Patent
>>>       Policy [PUB33]), the Director must not issue a Call for
>>>       Participation less than 60 days after the beginning of the
>>>       Advisory Committee Review of the charter."
>>> 
>>>    with:
>>> 
>>>      "See section 5.2.6.1 for information about a Call for
>>>       Participation in a Working Group that has taken up a
>>>       specification from another group."
>> 
>> I disagree. It is spelled out here because this is the first time someone reading in order will come across it. If anything I would make the reference *backward*, but I believe it is reasonable to keep the two statements. On the other hand, others have expressed opinions on both sides of that question so let's see what comes out of the review overall and do that.
> 
> I'm not planning to do anything on this yet, although as *part* of one of the major changes, that has only taken about 8 years - the discussion predates my first election to the AB - I'm watching the review comments.
> 
>>> ================
>>> 5.2.6 Working Group and Interest Group Charters
>>> 
>>>   ---------------
>>>   "Intellectual property information. What are the intellectual
>>>   property (including patents and copyright) considerations affecting
>>>   the success of the Group? In particular, is there any reason to
>>>   believe that it will be difficult to meet the Royalty-Free
>>>   licensing goals of section 2 of the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33]?"
>>> 
>>>   This text is disconnected from reality. Our charters include
>>>   boilerplate text about the Patent Policy and, on occasion,
>>>   document licensing information. I believe the questions quoted
>>>   above, while they may be considered while discussing the work,
>>>   never result information actually included in the charter (which
>>>   is what this bullet list is about).
>>> 
>>>   Proposed: Replace the bullet with:
>>> 
>>>    * Intellectual property information. Include information about
>>>      the governing patent policy and document license.
>> 
>> I disagree. The point of putting this into the requirements was so that charters would provide information to members, instead of them being asked to commit to something, unaware that e.g. some important rights-holding organisation has privately insisted this work be structured to make it easier for them to avoid participating.
>> 
>> Failure to inform members of the relevant information - even at the level of "we believe there are organisations who *claim* to hold patents in this area" - seems at best irresponsible.
> 
> I'm not planning to do anything about this.

Ok. I found the text confusing as written and it feels like a header + short explanation + consolidation would go a long way.

[Snipped suggestions on the same topic where you indicated you would monitor review comments.]

> 
>>> ================
>>> 6.1.2 Maturity Levels
>>> 
>>>   "Rescinded Recommendation" is defined but "Obsoleted
>>>   Recommendation" is not. Meanwhile, 6.9 includes a definition of
>>>   Rescinded Recommendation that may not align exactly with what is
>>>   written here.
>>> 
>>>   Proposed: 6.1.2 include definitions for both terms, with enough
>>>   explanation so one can see here how they differ. That may reduce
>>>   what needs to be said in 6.9. I'm happy to provide a suggestion
>>>   if you'd like.
>> 
>> Makes sense. I'm happy to propose a definition.
> 
> Current proposal:
> [[[
> An Obsolete Recommendation is a specification that W3C does not believe has sufficient market relevance to continue recommending that the community implement it, but does not consider that there are fundamental problems that require the Recommendation be Rescinded. It is possible for an Obsolete Recommendation to receive sufficient market uptake that W3C decides to restore it to Recommendation status. An Obsolete Recommendation has the same status as a W3C Recommendation with regards to W3C Royalty-Free IPR licenses granted under the Patent Policy.
> ]]]
> 
> I've raised an issue on this: https://www.w3.org/community/w3process/track/issues/171

Thanks.

> 
>>> ================
>>> 6.2 General requirements and definitions
>>> 
>>>   "Please note that publishing as used in this document refers to
>>>   producing a version which is listed as a W3C Technical Report on
>>>   its Technical Reports page https://www.w3.org/TR [PUB11]."
>>> 
>>>   That sentence is a repeat of the first sentence in 6.1.
>>> 
>>>   Proposed: Delete the sentence in 6.2.
>> 
>> I know I said it twice. But it's important, so the second one is to remind you that you should have paid attention.
>> 
>> I prefer to have it in both places, but not strongly. I'll wait for more feedback, and see what we get.
> 
> I don't plan to do anything for this until the end of the review period.

I think when the same text appears twice in the document, it looks like a bug and therefore (1) may cause confusion or (2) may distract readers from the content of the sentence (as was my case).

[snip]

>>> ================
>>> 6.6 W3C Recommendation
>>> 
>>>   "The decision to advance a document to Recommendation is a W3C
>>>   Decision." This sentence is the only one of its kind in the document.
>>>   Section 7 defines W3C decision:
>>> 
>>>     "A W3C decision is one where the Director (or the Director's
>>>     delegate) has exercised the role of assessing consensus after an
>>>     Advisory Committee review."
>>> 
>>>   And if you follow the link to AC review you see a list of things:
>>> 
>>> 
>>>    * new and modified Working and Interest Groups,
>>>    * Proposed Recommendations, Proposed Edited Recommendations, Proposal to Rescind a Recommendation, and
>>>    * Proposed changes to the W3C process.
>>> 
>>>   None of the other corresponding sections of the document have an
>>>   outright statement that "this is a W3C decision" other than 6.6.
>>> 
>>>   Proposed: Delete "The decision to advance a document to
>>>   Recommendation is a W3C Decision." as redundant.
>> 
>> I'm more inclined to try to formalise the notion of decisions in the Process. One of my frustrations is that while it talks about decisions, it is rare that it describes what constitutes a decision being made - in particular, there is nothing that says what is a valid working group decision, although those are required for various reasons in different parts of the process.
>> 
>> In the meantime, I'm opposed to your proposed change.
> 
> …so I don't plan to do anything for now.

I support the idea of formalizing the notion of decisions. Back in 2007 I took an initial stab at this:
 https://www.w3.org/2007/08/Process-20070801/policies.html#Decisions

Meanwhile, if you were looking for ways to remove cruft from the document and shorten it, this seemed like low-hanging fruit.

[snip]

>>> ================
>>> 6.8 Publishing a Working Group or Interest Group Note
>>> 
>>>  ------------
>>>  "Working Groups and Interest Groups publish material that is not a
>>>  formal specification as Notes. ... as well as specifications ..."
>>> 
>>>  This paragraph includes mildly self-contradictory statements.
>>> 
>>>  Proposed: Change the paragraph (with new bulleted list) to:
>>> 
>>>    "Working Groups and Interest Groups MAY publish Notes for a
>>>     variety of reasons, including:
>>> 
>>>       * supporting documentation for a specification such as
>>>         explanations of design principles or use cases and requirements,
>>>       * non-normative guides to good practices, and
>>>       * specifications where work has been stopped and there is no
>>>         longer consensus for publishing them as Recommendations."
>> 
>> Seems reasonable.
> 
> Something very close - "…publish work as Notes. Examples include:" is in changes for the next draft.

+1

> 
>>>  ------------
>>>  "may remain a Working Group Note indefinitely"
>>> 
>>>  This section is about both WG and IG Notes.
>>> 
>>>  Proposed: Delete "Working Group"
>> 
>> Yes.
> 
> I actually added "or Interest", which I believe has the same effect.

+1

> 
>>> ================
>>> 6.9 Obsoleting or Rescinding a W3C Recommendation
>>> 

[snipped suggestions]

> 
> I have not made any of the proposed changes, because I would like to see what comes out of review first - including review of these proposed changes.

Ok.

>>>  -------------
>>>   Proposed: Change
>>> 
>>>         "Note: the original Recommendation document will continue to
>>>         be available at its version-specific URL."
>>> 
>>>     to:
>>> 
>>>         "Note: W3C strives to ensure that any
>>> 	 Recommendation -- even obsoleted or rescinded --
>>>         remains available at its original address with
>>> 	 a status update."
>>> 
>>>     (Notes: I've modified the text for consistency with similar text
>>>      in 6.2.1. The concept of "version-specific URL" is not defined
>>>      in the Process Document. Also, I think we should make
>>>      clear that we do intend to provide a status update.)
>> 
>> Seems OK.
> 
> I suggest that it should be "Technical Report" not "Recommendation" - since as far as I know that is one of the core points of the persistence policy. What do you (the world) think?

+1
--
Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>      http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                       +1 718 260 9447




Received on Monday, 8 August 2016 17:45:47 UTC

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