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Re: [waf] New Charter proposal

From: Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 07:03:55 -0800
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Cc: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>, "public-appformats@w3.org (public)" <public-appformats@w3.org>, Web API public <public-webapi@w3.org>, public-webapi-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF218CFB04.A601FD36-ON882573C9.0051B846-882573C9.0052C1D7@us.ibm.com>

I understand what Mark is getting at regarding multiple WGs, but I have
also observed that many of the same folks participate across the various
WAF and WebAPI activities, and there will likely be an information exchange
and participation benefit by having a single WG addressing multiple
technology areas because most of the vendors will have at least one person
paying attention to all of the activities. Therefore, my preference would
be to have a single WebApps WG (as was discussed back in 2005!) but make
sure that the charter lists specific objectives and deliverables (i.e., not
open-ended in terms of carte blanche to pursue new activities based on the
whims of the WG members), and that if there needs to be a new activity
within the WG, the charter should be revised.

I would also like the new charter to explicitly say that all new
specifications from the WG require a list of target use cases and a
requirements list in order to provide context to the WG members and the
public against which the emerging specifications can be evaluated. (A few
use cases for each spec, each consisting of a few paragraphs, and a
bulleted list of prioritized requirements, where 10 requirements bullets
are probably too few and 100 requirements bullets are probably too many.)


             Doug Schepers                                                 
             Sent by:                                                   To 
             public-webapi-req         Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>         
             uest@w3.org                                                cc 
                                       Web API public                      
             01/07/2008 02:16          "public-appformats@w3.org (public)" 
             AM                        <public-appformats@w3.org>          
                                       Re: [waf] New Charter proposal      

Hi, Mark-

Thanks for your feedback.

Mark Nottingham wrote (on 1/6/08 8:48 PM):
> My feedback is that the proposed charter is far too broad. There's
> already a substantial spread in the existing working groups, and
> combining them multiplies it; you'd be working on protocols, APIs,
> security mechanisms, DOM extensions, widgets and a major new XML

We're already working on each of these things, and are finding the
overlap makes that harder.

> Doing so would advantage a few people who are involved and interested in
> all of these efforts, but would disadvantage those who are not --
> including people with valuable expertise -- by overloading them with
> e-mail and forcing them to sit through meetings where items not of there
> interest were discussed.

I agree that needs to be avoided.  I am particularly sensitive to this
issue, because I participated in a WG in which each spec was discussed
during each telcon, and it led to a lack of focus that drove the WG
apart.  This is why I included the clause, "Most Web Application Working
Group Teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular
specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis."

Perhaps I could have articulated that better.  The plan is to have a
dedicated telcon for each spec, periodically.  The topic of discussion
will always be announced ahead of time.  Only that spec (or specs, in
cases of coordination) will be discussed.  Does that address your issue?

Please note that I am a big fan of telcons, so I do want regular meetings.

As far as email goes, each spec is discussed in a thread prefaced with
the name of that spec, so it should be easy to prioritize the particular
emails.  Maybe we could set up list conventions to aid this?

> It also puts constraints on the amount of
> things that can be discussed simultaneously, with perhaps the unintended
> side effect of increasing the group's reliance on a few key contributors.

Assuming that W3C is going to be working on all these things, I don't
see how this introduces any more need for discussion.

> A much better result would be achieved by splitting the efforts further,
> into more focused working groups. This would undoubtedly increase the
> burden on a few people who do want to be involved in all of these

I suspect that the majority of the people who are involved are already

> as well as perhaps the Team (although it may be possible to mitigate

Can you describe how?  Honestly, I think this will reduce the load on
both Mike and me, because we can collaborate.  We will need only 2
chairs and around 2 team contacts, rather than the several of each it
would require for multiple groups.

> but would increase the likelihood of high-quality
> participation and a standard that truly reflects consensus.

Consensus is most valuable when it is inclusive of all the factors
involved.  We desperately need to make sure these specs work well
together.  It's easy to get consensus when you limit the scope, but it's
also less useful for the final "product".

> Alternatively, if there's some intent of serialising the output, the
> charter(s) could be written to only address the immediately upcoming
> deliverable, with the understanding that later rechartering will move
> the focus of the group(s) onwards.

The chartering process, while necessary, slows down the real work of the
WG, and takes several weeks of review and approval.  To change that, we
would need to change the policy of the W3C on chartering, and that would
itself take time.

I'm not dismissing your concerns, but I think we can address them within
the framework of a single WG.


-Doug Schepers
W3C Staff Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI

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Received on Monday, 7 January 2008 15:06:12 UTC

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