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Re: Requested addition to section 7.1

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:48:04 +0900
Cc: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, public-w3process@w3.org
Message-Id: <3517D075-4495-47D2-A72E-C2B5F15BEDFD@rivoal.net>
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>

>> Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:
> 
> I can't comment on what did or did not happen since I was not at that meeting.

There are official minutes.

>> Minutes to the first & second sessions: https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2016Nov/0075.html (see "CSS Fonts: OpenType Variations")
>> 
>> Minutes to the third session: https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2016Nov/0077.html


I believe them to be reasonably accurate. You can have a look at the whole conversation, or just giving a look at the few quotes I provided, notice that feelings are running high:

>>    “(applause)” — from everybody
>> 
>>    “(applause)” — from everybody again, the feature got 2 separate rounds of of applause
>> 
>>    “I would like to decide now to keep it in the group” — Chair
>> 
>>    “I object” — Google
>> 
>>    “We have to recharter” — Team Contact
>> 
>>    “We had a proposal. We had an objection. We are going to do nothing.” — Chair
>> 
>>    “Nobody likes this. Nobody in the whole world thinks this is a good idea.” — Apple
>> 
>>    “So Google is stalling progress until we change the process to be the way Google wants.” — Invited Expert



> But if a participant wanted to request that a feature be incubated in WICG, they could have made that request with or without the Charter.

A participant wanted to request that their contribution be added to an existing deliverable of the WG. Everybody except Google agreed, and Google objected to not incubate in WICG instead.

Presumably, they could have objected regardless of charter content. But pointing out that the charter now allowed for this mode of operation, despite no discussion on that topic having happened prior and nobody being aware of the charter change made the move feel sneaky, and gave the impression that W3M either had picked sides, or that it had been under non-disclosed pressure to give in to powerful demands, neither of which helped set the discussion on the right tone.

> PLH did tell me that there was a passionate debate at the CSS meeting about where to do incubation.

There wasn't a passionate debate. There was a complete deadlock of process based on a surprise in the charter, followed by google's rep bowing to the pressure of the group, followed by Google's top people coming to tell everybody that incubation in CGs was the new normal, followed by me doing my best impression of Gandalf's YOU SHALL NOT PASS in an attempt to defend all that is holy against the invaders, with several people cheerleading. Emotions ran high, and consensus building was nowhere to be found. Which is a shame, since many of the offended people, starting with me, agree that agility in the creation of standards is important, and having an in depth debate about what works well and what doesn't in the CSSWG, and whether some of its practices should be overhauled, or whether some stages of its work should be handled in a different venue is a discussion worth having.

Having painted a backdrop of secret arrangements with a hint of struggle of the underdog against the mighty made the discussion harder to have. Instead of "how can we best incubate", the tone has shifted to "how do we defend this institution" vs "how we we get bureaucracy out of the way" (I am probably mis-representing "them", and I regret that there is a "them" vs "us" rather than just an "us"). And any hint that we want to bring this to the table triggers the chairs "Oh no, not again, we have no time for this, we've got work to do" reflex response.

> Imho, that debate was coming irrespective of what was actually written in the Charter.

> Yes, I agree that there is a substantial debate underway about where to do incubation.  It was W3M's view that we were not changing the terms of the debate by noting that incubation in CGs is permitted.


Since the CSSWG had done internal incubation multiple times before, this debate had already started. The CSSWG model of incubation is neither perfect nor identical to the WICG one, and improving further, or harmonizing, or at least learning from each-other was probably overdue. But there were more subtle ways to ask for that than enchartering the fact that part of our process/practice was optional.

I cannot copy comments from the charter review here since that is confidential and this list is not, but if you search for the word incubation in https://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/33280/css-2016/results and look for the other comment that use this word and isn't from Daniel Glazman, you'll find a very reasonable and non inflammatory suggestion about how we could put in the charter an encouragement to work on figuring out and formalizing the incubation model of the CSSWG, with some specific desirable goals.

That would have spurred debate, and help justify taking WG time to work on the topic. "Oh and by the way, if you need to incubate WICG is over there" did not help.

—Florian
Received on Monday, 19 December 2016 14:48:36 UTC

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