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Re: Requested addition to section 7.1

From: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2016 20:25:40 +0000
To: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <414A21C6-28B6-418F-8E53-06DE5F40DAA2@microsoft.com>
Daniel, I can understand why you think the “Director’s” changes to the final CSS charter were a mistake, but I don’t understand why you think W3M abused 7.1.2 #2 :“The proposal is approved, possibly with substantive changes integrated. In this case the Director's announcement must include rationale for the decision to advance the document despite the proposal for a substantive change.”  The Director’s announcement of the new CSS charter is at https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-members/2016JulSep/0052.html .  I won’t quote from a member-confidential document on a public list, but it does have a rationale for the change.  And as Jeff has noted, the change is completely voluntary.


The gist of this thread seems to be that some advocate moving away from the current governance model where the Director – “who shall have the ultimate authority for all Consortium activities” according to the member agreement -- delegates most decisions to W3M.  It might be time to discuss alternative ways to structure decision making at W3C, but be aware that this is a potentially profound change that goes beyond updating the process document.   I think there are roughly 3 ways to organize decision making at an organization such as W3C:

1. Some individual, usually the founder, has final authority over all activities and delegates it as he/she sees fit (the current model)
2.  Some group selected based on “merit” hold authority to decide issues that cannot be resolved by consensus (IETF and Apache come to mind)
3. The wider membership selects a Board of Directors that have authority to hire/fire staff and determine how technical decisions are made (most SDO’s operate this way, I believe)

Is it even plausible that we could find a Director with the credibility to make decisions stick AND who has the time to devote to W3C day to day operations so that decisions such as this would not be delegated to W3M? If not, are options 2 or 3 (or others) worth considering? 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>
Date: Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 3:55 AM
To: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Requested addition to section 7.1
Resent-From: <public-w3process@w3.org>
Resent-Date: Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 3:56 AM

    On 18/12/2016 11:01, chaals@yandex-team.ru wrote:
    
    > Which we can make if you can get consensus on a proposal, as noted.
    
    Right.
    
    > I think this overstates the case. As you suggest below, a bad judgement call on consensus is effectively a violation of the Process already. So improving the procedures used, not the rules that govern them, might well be the right solution.
    
    Not sure. A current hiatus occured precisely because the Process keeps
    the rules vague and relies on extra procedures and trust. That did not
    work well enough.
    
    > That doesn't follow, because the Process describes AC appeal as the error-correction mechanism.
    
    Sorry, I disagree. There can be an appeal when the vote is conformant to
    the Process. I don't think it was the case and I don't think the
    Process kept applying beyond that point.
    
    That said, I am not ready to call for the CSS WG Charter to be
    rescinded and submitted to vote again. But there is still a mess to
    clean, and no it's not entirely in CSS WG's hands.
    
      - no formalized relationship between WICG and CSS WG
      - no known constraints on incubation exit criteria from WICG
      - "good enough" effect
      - etc.
    
    > That seems drastic, and probably counter-productive. Although you're free to do it of course.
    
    We have a major issue arising from a big mistake and the suggestion is
    to solve the issue in 2018 and let the CSS WG deal 'a posteriori' with
    a decision never discussed. You said "counter-productive"?
    
    > I generally trust that people in W3C - all across the ecosystem - try to do the right thing. And that from time to time they'll get it wrong. Indeed, that's what I do. Having people keep watch for, and try to correct problems is important. Personally, I also prefer to look for a simple solution. Part of that has resulted in me working on the Process for a few years, trying to simplify and modernise it - and alongside that, trying to promote better practice. My long experience has been that the Process was often updated attempting to "quickly" resolve something perceived as a problem, and that it often turned out we should have been looking at our practices instead, because we made the Process over-complicated, too fragile, and didn't solve the underlying problem well.
    
    Let's summarize:
    
    - 7.1.2 is tailored for technical documents, not Charters.
    - 7.1.2 is tailored for technical documents, not Process.
    - 7.1.2 item 2 gives too much latitude to W3M for very substantive
      changes.
    - 7.1.2 item 2 was abused.
    - Side discussions during Votes are unacceptable.
    
    I am going to propose a revamp of this section in the coming days,
    modulo Christmas disruptions of course.
    
    </Daniel>
    
    
    

Received on Sunday, 18 December 2016 20:26:15 UTC

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