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Re: F2F Meeting Minutes

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 11:34:59 -0500
Message-ID: <3B7AA4B3.A1F7055E@w3.org>
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
> Brian McBride wrote:
> It was suggested that parseType="Literal" could be dropped but Ron
> Daniel and Eric Miller spoke up that there are users who use it. It
> was suggested that the parser adding namespace definitions to the
> literal might break an XML signature. Concern was raised over entities
> in the literal. After discussion it was concluded that we needed to
> investigate the applicability of the XML fragments spec.

That's unclear, if not inaccurate.

I, for one, did not agree that we *need* to investigate
the applicability of the XML fragments spec; as I said,
there's a perfectly reasonable design (using triples all the
way down) that does not depend on XML fragments in any way.

Moreover, I don't recall the chair actually explicitly asking
that question of the group.

Please be extremely careful about documenting decisions of the group.

Ideally, for decisions made in telcons/ftf meetings,
a question should be proposed, scribbled down by the
scribe, read back to the participants by the scribe
or chair, then any dissent should be noted, and finally,
the chair should announce the disposition of the question
(e.g. "ok, then we are agreed." or "ok, then we have
consensus", or, in exceptional cases "ok, we don't
have consensus, but we've discussed this as long as
is productive and there's a clear majority in favor,
so with the objection of Fred and Wilma
noted for later review per W3C process, the motion passes").

Often you can get by with less ceremonty than that.

But the record must be crystal clear regardless.
It should have a special notation for decisions.
I prefer

	RESOLVED: that frotznorbs are blue in all cases.

Per W3C process[1], there are three dispositions
for decisions: Unanimity/Consensus/Dissent.
It's not essential to distinguish Unanimity from Consensus,
but it is essential to document Dissent for later review.

I particularly don't like the "it was agreed..." form
used above in running prose because in this case, I'm quite
certain the chair didn't put the question to the group,
but the same "it was agreed..." form is used in cases
where questions where formally put to the group, e.g.

| It was _agreed_ that anonymous nodes in the model can be
| distinguished from nodes with
| supplied URI's.

with _agreed_ linked to:

[23:18:30] dajobe
     AGREED: answer to 1) YES with 2 abstentions

4.1.2 Group Consensus and Votes

The W3C process requires Chairs to ensure that groups consider all
legitimate views and objections, and endeavor to resolve them. Decisions
may be made during meetings (face-to-face or distributed) as well as
through email. The following terms are used in this document to
describe the level of support for a group decision:

  1.Unanimity: All participants agree. 
  2.Consensus: No participants object (but some may abstain). 
  3.Dissent: At least one participant objects. 

Where unanimity is not possible, the group should strive to make
decisions where there is at least consensus with substantial support
few abstentions) from all participants. To avoid decisions that are made
despite nearly universal apathy (i.e., with little support and
abstention), groups are encouraged to set minimum thresholds of active
support before a decision can actually be recorded. The appropriate
percentage may vary depending on the size of the group and the nature
of the decision. A group charter may include a quorum requirement for
consensus decisions.

In some cases, even after careful consideration of all points of view, a
group may find itself unable to reach consensus. When this happens, if
there is a need to advance (for example, to produce a deliverable in a
timely manner), the Chair may announce a decision to which there is
dissent. When deciding to announce such a decision, the Chair must be
aware of which participants work for the same (or related) Member
organizations and weigh their input accordingly. When a decision must
be reached despite dissent, groups should favor proposals that create
the least strong objections. This is preferred over proposals that are
supported by a large majority of the group but that cause strong
objections from a few participants.

The Chair decides when to resolve an issue in the face of dissent. In
case, a dissenter may request that any formal objections be reported at
later review stages.

Issues must be formally addressed

In the context of this document, a Working Group has formally
addressed an issue when the Chair can show (archived) evidence of
having sent a response to the party who raised the issue. This response
should include the Working Group's resolution and should ask the party
who raised the issue to reply with an indication of whether the
reverses the initial objection.

Formal objections must be archived and reported

If dissenters say they can live with a given decision, this should be
as an indication that the group can move on to the next topic, but the
inverse is not necessarily true: dissenters cannot stop a group's work
simply by saying that they cannot live with the decision. When the Chair
believes that the legitimate concerns of the dissenters have received
consideration as far as is possible and reasonable, then objections must
be recorded and the group should move on.

A formal objection should include technical arguments and propose
changes that would remove the dissenter's objection; these proposals
may be vague or incomplete. The Chair must report an objection that
includes such information to the Director at later review stages (e.g.,
the request to the Director to advance a technical report to Candidate
Recommendation). If an objection does not include this information, the
Chair is not required to report it at later review stages.

During an Advisory Committee Review, Advisory Committee
representatives must be able to refer to archived objections.

The Chair may reopen a decision when presented with new information

The Chair may reopen a decision when presented with new information,

     additional technical information, 
     comments by email from participants who were unable to attend a
     scheduled meeting, 
     comments by email from meeting attendees who chose not to speak
     out during a meeting (e.g., so they could confer later with
     colleagues, for cultural reasons, etc.). 

The Chair should archive that a decision has been reopened, and must
do so upon request from a group participant.

Appeal of a Chair's decision

Participants should always try to resolve issues within the group and
should register with the Chair any objections they may have to a
(e.g., a decision made as the result of a vote). When participants of a
Member organization believe that their concerns are not being duly
considered within the group, they may ask the Director (via their
Advisory Committee representative) to confirm or deny the decision. The
participants should also make their requests known to the Team contact.
The Team contact is responsible for informing the Director when invited
experts raise concerns about due process.

Any requests to the Director to confirm a decision must include a
summary of the issue (whether technical or procedural), decision, and
rationale for the objection. All counter-arguments, rationales, and
decisions must be archived.


Only after the Chair has determined that all available means of reaching
consensus through technical discussion and compromise have failed,
and that a vote is necessary to break a deadlock, should a group vote to
resolve a substantive issue. In this case, the Chair must archive:

     the decision to conduct a vote (e.g., a simple majority vote) to
     resolve the issue; 
     the outcome of the vote; 
     any objections. 

A Working Group participant must be in good standing in order to
participate in a vote to resolve a substantive issue.

Working Groups may vote for other purposes. For instance, the Chair
may conduct a "straw poll" vote as a means of determining whether there
is consensus about a potential decision. Votes may also be used for
arbitrary decisions. For example, it is appropriate to decide by simple
majority whether to hold a meeting in San Francisco or San Jose;
not much difference geographically). When simple majority votes are
used to decide minor issues, members of the minority are not required
to state the reasons for their dissent, and the votes of individuals
not be recorded.

A group charter may include voting procedures.


--        4 Working Groups, Interest Groups, and Coordination Groups
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 13:22:25 GMT

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Wednesday, 15 August 2001 12:36:04 EDT

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