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: Wed, 4 May 2016 20:05:28 -0700
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <572AB878.5000903@linux.intel.com>


On 2016-05-04 16:06, David Singer wrote:
>> On May 3, 2016, at 18:27 , Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com> wrote:
>>
>> I'm particularly concerned about the precedent of delegating power to the TAG, where it becomes impossible for the Membership to do something unless the TAG agrees.
> OK, that’s why I suggested that a sufficient proportion of the AC could also initiate.  But I would like the TAG to be more impactful, and this seems a good place to start.
>
>> If we do it for obsoleting RECS, why not do it for the ability to move to PR?  All the same arguments can be made for saying a CR shouldn't go to PR if the TAG doesn't think so.
> No, I don’t think so. Today we have obsolete recs, they are just not labeled, so erring on the side of not labeling leaves us no worse off than today. That’s not the case with failing a document progression.
>
> As I say, I think it necessary that *someone* has the formal job to do a sanity check. The Director is a bad candidate for sanity-checking; if we mean ‘the team’ (which is, in effect, what ‘the Director’ would mean here) we could say it, though we’d have to define it. But the team is even less ‘Membership’ than the TAG!
>
> We’re also in the process of trying to identify mythical references to the Director in our standing documents (either things he doesn’t actually do personally, or we wouldn’t leave assigned to that position in perpetuity).
>
>> While I appreciate TAG input, I don't want to weaken the Membership by continuing to have blocks that prevent them from taking actions.
> I’m trying to give the TAG — which the membership in part elects (and there is a movement afoot to make it more elected) — more say in coordinating architectural questions, so I think we actually agree on this goal, just that you don’t see  the TAG as being ‘Membership’?
>
>> I think all significant decisions by any delegates should be appealable (including all Director decisions).
>>
>> My first preference would be:
>>
>> Someone asks -> Tag is asked for their view with a time limit -> Director considers TAG input (if there is any) and if decides whether to put it to AC (deciding not to is appealable by AC)
> -> AC Vote -> Director decision.
>
> I don’t think we should have the Director in there twice (it seems untidy).
>
>> I'd think the common path would be someone asks, the TAG decides, the Director does what the TAG decides (and if it is not to proceed, it is extremely unlikely the AC would appeal).  So, in practice, the TAG probably always decides whether it goes to an AC review (but the Director or AC could act if they wanted to).
> I’d be fine with a process that allows any of the
> TAG
> Director
> x% of the AC in a formal request
>
> to get an obsoletion ballot before the AC.
>
> But if the Director wants to obsolete something, why not use his ex-officio TAG position to get the TAG to do it?  And, if the Director or AC initiates the ballot, who now is responsible for the sanity check?
>
> Hm, maybe we want
>
> anyone proposes -> TAG review and decision,
> 		if no -> x% of the AC can nonetheless request a ballot ->
> if either TAG ‘yes’, or AC override of a TAG ‘no’ -> AC ballot -> consensus formation as needed -> Director decision

Just a minor revision to avoid pocket veto and to note the final 
Director decision can be appealed:

if either TAG ‘yes’, or AC override of a TAG ‘no’ (or TAG inaction for 90 days) -> AC ballot -> consensus formation as needed -> Director decision, subject to AC appeal

As a general approach, the AC could appeal a decision by smaller groups 
and start an AC Review and can appeal the eventual Director decision.  
That would allow for delegation to smaller groups while keeping the 
ability of the full membership to act if they really want to.  If it's 
something obviously obsolete it would just be a quick TAG decision and 
quick AC confirmation.

>
> ?
>
> That way, the sanity check always happens.  Do you want anyone else able to override a TAG no?
>
>>
>>        
>>
>> On 2016-05-03 16:48, David Singer wrote:
>>> 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.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
> David Singer
> Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
>
>
>
Received on Thursday, 5 May 2016 03:12:44 UTC

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