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Re: Summary of "working group meeting", was: Proposal for WebDAV WG meeting agenda for 62nd IETF - Minneapolis, MN, USA

From: Elias Sinderson <elias@cse.ucsc.edu>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 08:42:27 -0800
Message-ID: <423B04F3.4050002@cse.ucsc.edu>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
CC: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org, Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>, Joe Hildebrand <JHildebrand@jabber.com>

Hi,

I've been meaning to add my few cents to this thread since it was first 
posted and only now have found the time (danged work schedule) - my full 
response will be split across a couple / few thread and messages but can 
basically be summarized by the following two points:
* I think the WG may be sick, but it isn't dead (or necessarily dying, 
for that matter, but perhaps tired...)
* There is work to be done and doing so within the context of the WG 
makes far more sense than otherwise

Julian Reschke wrote:

> almost a week has passed since the meeting, and no minutes have been 
> posted (will there be any????).  The Jabber log is available from 
> <http://www.xmpp.org/ietf-logs/webdav@ietf.xmpp.org/2005-03-09.html> 
> but that's not a replacement.

+1, I read the jabber log but there wasn't much there.

> I listened to the audio cast [...]

Ah, thanks for that, I didn't realize it had been archived.

> - Only few people attended (13 physically, a few on the text chat) - I 
> don't find that surprising at all, given the fact that it wasn't 
> announced in time, and no agenda was posted. In particular, with the 
> exception of Lisa Dusseault, none of the authors of the current 
> working group documents were present.

I can only speak for myself but without grant money, or the backing of 
my employer (unlikely at best), I'll *never* be able to attend in person 
unless a meeting is held in the Bay Area.

> - The meeting ended after less than 20 minutes (instead of the 2,5 
> hours that were scheduled) and basically no technical questions were 
> discussed.

 From what I can tell, neither the proposed agenda (Julians') nor the 
stated agenda (from Jabber log) was followed closely or, at the very 
least items on the agenda were only addressed superficially. It would 
appear that items were tabled prematurely while there were still open 
questions and discussion to be finished. IMHO, the standing agenda for 
*any* working group meeting should be:
(1) review the charter and current status / progress on WG deliverables 
and stated milestones
(2) discuss each of the active documents in turn
    (a) address any open issues or concerns, seeking partial resolutions 
wherever possible to be ratified by the larger WG on the discussion list
    (b) make note of who is volunteering to follow up on action items, 
i.e. shephard the ensuing discussion on the mailing list, make edits to 
documents, etc.
(3) drink

Given the passionate discussion on the mailing list over some of the 
existing issues, I find it hard to believe that 2.5 hours would be 
enough time to meet in person and give a fair treatment to everything 
that should be on the table.

> [...] Note that we don't need a WG to do useful work; but having a WG 
> that is incapable of making any decisions (or shipping documents that 
> are ready) means that the active contributors are basically wasting 
> their time fighting process barriers instead if doing meaningful 
> technical work.

I'll address this a little more in subsequent emails but, as above, I 
feel there is significant benefit to working within the context of a 
formal IETF WG (visibility, established process, etc.). From what I can 
tell, going it alone greatly reduces the chance that any draft will make 
much progress in the long term.


Inlakesh,
Elias
Received on Friday, 18 March 2005 16:42:30 GMT

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