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Re: WICG Incubation vs CSSWG Process

From: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 20:42:47 +0000
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
CC: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <FADAEB71-C4FB-47DD-9A13-21FD2DC66A23@microsoft.com>
>    But in any case, the specifics of how the CSSWG should or should not incorporate
>  incubation through the WICG or otherwise, or what technology we should use for
>  discussion, is a topic for the WG lists; 

There are a few process issues in this set of threads, although I agree that it’s mostly the CSS WG’s job to figure out how to figure out how to incubate future CSS-related specs in a way that hits a sweet spot of patent protection, participation by the relevant experts, and ensuring that WG specs that aren’t going to get to Rec are somehow marked as obsolete, published as notes, etc.

One process issue is implied by 

“the charter review process allowed a substantive change
to the charter to be made by W3M fiat, without the review or approval of the WG
affected.”

The W3C Process makes clear that issues are ultimately resolved by the Director’s “fiat”, and at least in practice “The Director” equates to “W3M” for all but the thorniest issues.  Also, the process makes clear that the Director+AC grants charters to WGs, the WG’s don’t even exist until they have an approved charter.  So it’s not clear how the current process would allow WGs to review their charters.  Arguably the community of stakeholders for a set of specs, which usually more or less equates to the members of previous WGs that drafted those specs, should have an explicit role in reviewing W3M/Director resolution of objections to a charter, and that seems like an appropriate topic for the Process CG.  Alternatively, maybe the AB, TAG, and/or AC – presumably in an accelerated review, not the ponderous 30-day WBS ballot mechanism – should have a role in reviewing W3M’s resolution.   

Another process issue is whether there should be a mechanism to declare WDs or CR’s “obsolete”.  (I agree with Chaals in another message, the new process introduces the concept of “obsolete” Recs, which is distinct from “recinded” Recs, and “obsolete” is the right term for WDs or CRs that are no longer plausibly on track to become Recommendations).  I think it’s worth discussing whether the current practice of publishing dead-end work as Notes is the best way to handle this.  I for one find Notes a bit overloaded --- some are not at all normative, some describe quasi-normative best practice, some describe normative specs that are used on the web but not widely enough to be considered interoperable standards, and others are work that seemed on the road to become normative but went off in the weeds for one reason or another.  So, it might be worth adding some language to the process allowing WDs and CRs to be withdrawn, possibly un-published from the /TR page, or at least to mark the status of their Notes to distinguish the various failure modes (WG decided it was a bad idea in retrospect, WG divided and didn’t have consensus to advance, WG still likes the spec but it didn’t get implementation evidence, etc.)

-----Original Message-----
From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 12:25 AM
To: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Cc: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Subject: Re: WICG Incubation vs CSSWG Process

    On 12/26/2016 08:19 PM, Brian Kardell wrote:
    >
    > A lot of talk going on right now is around patent issues or licensing licensing concerns.   I'd like to step back for just a
    > moment and ask a question:  If we could imagine that that is a non-issue, would there still be a problem?  It seems to me that
    > their would be and the longer this conversation goes on and the more twists and turns it takes the more I feel like there is a
    > lot of talking past and simple lack of agreement on what some things really even mean.
    
    The problem here is that the charter review process allowed a substantive change
    to the charter to be made by W3M fiat, without the review or approval of the WG
    affected. W3M (represented by Jeff) wanted to know why the change was considered
    substantive, and why it was considered a problem, which has resulted in some
    interesting conversations (many of which should have probably happened before the
    charter was amended by W3M).
    
    I'm glad that the wandering format of the ML allowed some other points to come
    up, e.g. patent commitments and dead-ended specs, since I think we can start up
    some useful discussions on how to solve those problems better.
    
    But in any case, the specifics of how the CSSWG should or should not incorporate
    incubation through the WICG or otherwise, or what technology we should use for
    discussion, is a topic for the WG lists; here it is only necessary to establish
    the extent to which any broader W3C policies are problematic in a WG's execution,
    and to discuss any tangents that are *also* about W3C policy as a whole.
    Patent discussions are not off-topic, to the extent that they affect the WGs'
    process, and Michael's points are such considerations.
    
    As for the rest of your post,
    
    On 12/25/2016 07:07 AM, fantasai wrote:
    > there's definitely room for improvement in the CSSWG process as we struggle
    > with scaling up, and formalizing some aspects of incubation tooling and
    > practices will undoubtedly help
    
    ~fantasai
    

Received on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 20:43:23 UTC

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