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Re: Proposed pubrules change for clearer indication of First Public/Last Call Working Draft at top of document

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 15:15:59 -0400
To: Giuseppe Pascale <giuseppep@opera.com>
Cc: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C02D4D3060B1456A9856A74C08461902@marcosc.com>


On Monday, 18 March 2013 at 08:54, Giuseppe Pascale wrote:

> On Tue, 12 Mar 2013 22:13:23 +0100, Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com (mailto:w3c@marcosc.com)> wrote:
>  
> > Hi Ian,
> >  
> > On Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 19:03, Ian Jacobs wrote:
> >  
> > >  
> > > On 12 Mar 2013, at 1:57 PM, Marcos Caceres wrote:
> > >  
> > > > Hi Robin,
> > > > What's the rationale for this change? I see some suspicious  
> > >  
> > >  
> > > characters ("Robin Berjon and Doug Schepers") were behind this.
> > >  
> > >  
> > >  
> > > Today information that a document is Last Call is available in the  
> > > status section. Since we want people to review LCWDs in particular, it  
> > > was suggested we have a clearer signal at the top. This proposal puts  
> > > the phrase "Last Call" just below the title. (Same with "First Public"  
> > > where we also want to raise awareness.)
> >  
> >  
> >  
> > Thanks very much for the clarification.
> >  
> > I'm still hopeful that we will one day just be able to call these  
> > "Lawyer Draft" or "Attorney Draft" (not a joke!… stop smiling!:))
>  
>  
>  
> As pointed out by someone else somewhere else [1], is not only lawyers  
> that "need" (or look for) this sort of stable drafts.

Sure, but they should be looking at the Editor's draft (and the editor's draft status should state that the doc is in LC, but only for the purpose of making sure all comments are addressed as per the process for the disposition of comments).  

The really extra valuable consumers of these specs is lawyers, AFAICT. The rest of the comments from commenters are as important as at any point in the standardisation process.  
> I don't want to reopen the whole debate here though,

It's important to have this discussion because people seem to forget history or have a romantic/idealised view of how specs are done. The standards world is messy.  
> but just want to point  
> out that an indication of stability is useful also for other people and  
> until W3C doesn't come up with some other metric/label/way to indicate the  
> "status" of the document, than LCWD, CR and Rec are the only thing people  
> can and will use.
>  

IMO, LC should absolutely not be viewed as stable (only for marketing reasons or to deliberately deceive). It just means that it won't get any more features at that particular moment - but the stability of those features is not guaranteed in any way… and if it bounces back to WD (even from CR) new features can be added…. etc. And the cycle continues. This is why the labels are confusing and deceptive. A spec is stable once it's fully testable and interoperable and no more changes are made to it (again, look at all the "REC" editions of XML). There is no perfect spec.  

--  
Marcos Caceres
http://datadriven.com.au
Received on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 19:16:30 UTC

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