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Re: Can we get consensus on what incubation means (was: Re: WICG Incubation vs CSSWG Process)

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2017 13:20:25 +0900
Cc: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C911787D-22AE-459D-A822-30FD24A3B9F2@rivoal.net>
To: David Singer <singer@mac.com>

> On Jan 4, 2017, at 07:52, David Singer <singer@mac.com> wrote:
> 
> By the time we spin up a WG, with team contact, the dates ought to be at least plausible, it should be possible for the test suite and experimental implementations to be under way.  WGs cost more; they are about completing those (tests, interop, horizontal review, and so on).

I think this also highlights something that we haven't been very clear about: In my mind, there ought be be a large difference between incubating a spec that could be part of an existing WG, and incubating a community that could become a new WG.

Overall, I think the idea of starting new areas as a CG instead of immediately as a WG until the community has proved itself is fine, even though the criteria for the CG->WG graduation is still too fuzzy and a source of friction.

On the other hand, I am much more skeptical of needing a separate venue to incubate specs that fall in the scope of an existing group.

> I’m fine with WGs that can manage incubation in-group: neither CGs in general nor WICG are the only place to incubate.

When a community about a particular (set of) technology exists in the form of a WG, it seems to me that we should first investigate doing incubation in that group, and systematically try to identify what gets in the way of doing that.

If we conclude that what gets in the way of doing incubation in a WG is an essential aspect of being a WG, then establishing separate venues for incubation is a necessity. But if, as I suspect, what gets in the way are mere habits, or non-essential artifacts of the process, then it seems to me preferable to reform the WG (and possibly the W3C Process) to get rid of these problems.

Creating a separate venue to work on a different stages of the same scope causes inherent tensions: conflicting senses of ownership, speed bumps or road-blocks around the transition point, power struggles over who has the greatest ability to influence things, disfunction of the pipeline as a whole if cooperation breaks down...

—Florian
Received on Friday, 6 January 2017 04:20:57 UTC

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