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Re: Obsoleting a Recommendation, round two

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 03 May 2016 16:48:46 -0700
Cc: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-id: <82D369F0-CFB3-45AB-B5C3-5CCFC931C717@apple.com>
To: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Hi Wayne

as I understand it, your problem is with the TAG as absolute gatekeeper, i.e. if they decide not to offer it to the AC for vote, there is nothing to be done (in my draft).

I think the easiest fix is to say that *either* the TAG asks for a vote on it, by consensus decision, or some percentage of the AC ask for a vote (probably the same threshold as would be needed to get an appeal going).

Though, as I say, I rather suspect we should not mark as obsolete something for which there is dissent over its obsolete status, so I rather doubt the ‘we can bypass the TAG’ would be useful, because if they don’t think it obsolete, some number of AC reps will agree it’s not, and the Director (who is also a TAG member) might also.

I guess I was looking for a mechanism by which we obsolete things that are clearly obsolete, but we take enough care to avoid mistakes.  If there’s dissent, I’d rather err on the side of leaving the Rec. alone and not mark it as obsolete.  So under these circumstances, the TAG’s sanity check is, in a sense harmless,

I guess we need to deal with the Senate-like case of the TAG failing to take a vote on the question.  But maybe we do that by voting out the TAG…?


> On May 2, 2016, at 11:10 , Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 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.
>> 
>> 
> 

David Singer
Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 3 May 2016 23:49:16 UTC

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