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RE: WebDAV Working Group Meeting

From: Yaron Goland (Exchange) <yarong@Exchange.Microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 17:35:07 -0700
Message-ID: <078292D50C98D2118D090008C7E9C6A603C965AE@STAY.platinum.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "'Greg Stein'" <gstein@lyra.org>, Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>
Cc: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org, paf@swip.net
WGs that live too long have a really nasty habit of taking on lives of their
own and perpetuating themselves simply to perpetuate themselves. Forcing
working groups to go through regular replenishments is a critical activity.
It allows new leadership to step up and for the WG to renew itself.

Just look at the people who are driving WebDAV today. Most of them are
fairly new to the effort and even those who have been around for a while did
not take on the leadership roles that they now occupy until recently. This
is a natural and healthy process. Forcing WGs to disband and reform under
new charters with new leadership encourages this process and keeps the IETF
functioning smoothly.

One of the reasons the IETF has formed this process is to avoid the types of
problems the ITU experiences where WGs live forever and people start to make
careers out of a particular WG. This leads to an end to progress and sucks
up valuable organizational resources that could be better applied elsewhere.
A WG is not a self contained entity. It requires constant care and
supervision from the IETF in the form of the ADs. ADs are a very limited
resource and need to be applied sparingly.

In the case of WebDAV we have no less than three vibrant efforts underway.
The first, DASL, already has its own WG. The second, Delta-V, is well on its
way to getting a WG. The third, Advanced Collections, is moving along with
its specifications.

In addition to these efforts we have other efforts underway, such as the
renewed interest in ACLs and the potential (although in my opinion misguided
;) interest in live properties.

I would strongly council against a DAVEX WG. This type of WG has been tried
before and it inevitable fails. The reason being that it turns into a grab
bag of technologies with a meandering charter that never stops growing.
Standing WGs are almost always a bad idea. Many of the drafts that people
are interested in are targeted to very well defined and fairly small
communities. These sorts of drafts can be easily explored as individuals
submissions. A WG is only necessary when you have a fairly complex draft
which requires a significant portion of the community to participate. I
don't believe these requirements apply to Advanced Collections or ACLs but I
do believe they apply to DASL and Delta-V.

As such I hope we shut down the WebDAV WG as soon as possible and let the
other efforts bloom.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Greg Stein [mailto:gstein@lyra.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 1999 1:11 PM
> To: Keith Moore
> Cc: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org; paf@swip.net
> Subject: Re: WebDAV Working Group Meeting
> Keith Moore wrote:
> > 
> > > Keith, what is the status of the WebDAV working group?
> > 
> > currently, it's still active, but I expect it to be winding down.
> > The group can request a meeting if it wants, but it shouldn't
> > take on any new work.
> Actually, I'm somewhat amazed as the desire to blow away this working
> group. It is still performing a lot of work with the WebDAV 
> extensions.
> If this list goes away, then what? Where does all this discussion go
> then?
> I find it silly to shut something down simply because some rule
> somewhere says it needs to be shut down. Leave it open until 
> the work is
> done.
> If you must shut it down, then we must have a "DAV Extensions WG" to
> take its place.
> [this is the heart of the silliness -- renaming something just to
> satisfy some rules]
> Cheers,
> -g
> --
> Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
Received on Wednesday, 8 September 1999 20:36:20 UTC

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