W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > May 2016

Re: Obsoleting a Recommendation, round two

From: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 11:10:42 -0700
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <57279822.2030402@linux.intel.com>

On 2016-04-29 15:29, David Singer wrote:
>> 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.

That's making a lot of assumptions.  It could be the Director does want 
to obsolete it but the TAG does not agree.

> 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.

The TAG is advisory (except in very limited situations).  W3C is already 
not member controlled in a number of areas where the Membership cannot 
initiate actions, but has to depend on W3C staff. I don't want to 
increase those and I don't want to turn that over to the TAG instead.  
The TAG is a small group of people.  It is likely to almost always 
include the 4 big Browser vendors.  They already have considerable power 
in W3C.  I'm not in favor of increasing concentrating decisions in a few 
people.  The Membership should have a way to initiate and pass things 
when it wants to.

> 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.

It's a fallback for when things don't go as they should.  So, it isn't 
any huge overhead -- it's a guarantee that the Membership can do 
something if it wants to.

> (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)

I'd add.  TAG gives opinion, if they want to (but don't have to).

Director (typically meaning who he delegates to in staff) decides 
whether to follow through with request, subject to AC appeal.

> 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.

5% of the AC have to support having an appeal vote.  It's not going to 
happen unless there is a real issue.  And as you point out, no appeal 
has ever happened in all the instances where appeal is possible.

I don't see the "savings" in not allowing the possibility of an appeal 
(since they are so very rare - never) and I don't see the benefit of 
having the TAG make decisions rather than give advice. If the Director 
wants to always do whatever the TAG says, he can. And the AC can appeal 
that if 5% agree and change it if the Membership agrees.  The 
possibility of AC appeal I think is a safety valve that typically 
guarantees that things won't happen that the Membership really don't 
want -- because there would be an appeal.

> David Singer
> Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Monday, 2 May 2016 18:11:07 UTC

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