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Handling Massive Proposed Changes

From: eric hansen <ehansen@ets.org>
Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 15:00:13 -0400 (EDT)
To: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-id: <vines.Bh0E+mckErA@cips06.ets.org>
A Suggested Procedure For Handling Massive Proposed Changes

I would like to suggest a procedure that will help streamline disposition 
of massive amounts of proposed changes, such as those documented in my 
revisions of the 30 April 1999 draft. This procedure is intended to make 
things easier on everyone and still accomplish the necessary work. The 
procedure may also be helpful for dealing with editorial changes in 

1. The submitter of massive changes assigns an identifier (e.g., a number) 
to the most critical changes.

2. The submitter posts to the list a brief description of the most critical 
changes along with the revised material or a link to the revised material. 
Working group members and any other interested parties should review the 
material and comment on any of it.

3. The chair assigns one or more editors to classify the changes as either 
"editorial" or "non-editorial". Editors can determine the disposition of 
editorial changes (accept, reject, adapt, delay-decision) in consultation 
with the chair. Non-editorial changes presumably require open discussion on 
the AU list.

4.  By the end of an established deadline, the editor notifies the 
submitter of the classification of the changes (i.e., editorial or 
non-editorial). I suggest that the chair establish a deadline for this 
notification as one week from the day that the changes were posted. The 
notification should also indicate which of two drafts of the WATG document 
will reflect the disposition of the editorial changes; these drafts are: 
(1) the first draft following the posting of the changes and (2) the second 
draft following the posting of the changes. The editors are encouraged to 
advise the submitter (a) which changes that may warrant detailed discussion 
on the list, (b) the order in which post non-editorial changes.

5. At a date no later than release of the second new draft from the time of 
the posting of the changes, the status of each editorial change assumes one 
of the following statuses: (a) accepted (these are reflected in the new 
draft), (b) rejected (the new draft reflects the reject status by a lack of 
change), (c) adapted (the new draft reflects this partial implementation),  
(d) decision-delayed (because this may be mistaken for "rejected", the 
editors must notify the submitter of this decision [see the next step]), 
(e) convert to non-editorial change (the editors must refer this issue to 
the Working Group for discussion). For any editorial decision for which the 
decision is "decision-delayed", the editors must notify the submitter of 
the decision, including information about the date by which the editorial 
decision will be reflected in a draft that is available to the submitter. 
For any editorial change that the editors convert to a non-editorial change,
 the editors have the responsibility to post the issue to the list. Note 
that all these actions have the same deadline -- the date of the release of 
the second new draft from the time of the posting of the changes. 

6. The submitter, editor, or any other reviewer should at any time post on 
the list the descriptions of issues (including any non-editorial issues) 
posed by the proposed changes. Commenters should indicate their position 
and their rationale. Ideally, these postings will include "before" and 
"after (e.g., "original" versus "proposed") quotes for changes in wording. 
(Ideally, the submitter would post such as list at the same time as the 
document or link to the document is posted. But this can be a very 
time-consuming process. The editors must initiate and conduct their 
classification of the issues even in the absence of such descriptions. See 
#3 and #4.)

7. At a certain point (Is it "Last Call"?) the editors and chairs will have 
the responsibility of tracking resolution of all non-editorial changes. (I 
think that is correct. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.) The 
editors may find it beneficial to do some tracking even prior to that time.

Note that a key feature of this procedure is that it engages the editors 
and the submitter in a dialogue regarding the disposition of the suggested 
changes, particularly the editorial changes. Also, because the submitter is 
informed whether the changes are editorial or not, she/he can decide the 
nature and time of additional postings on the same issues. Without this 
communication, the submitter may not know whether the suggestions have been 
"heard", whether the editors consider them editorial or not, or whether 
they will ever be acted upon. 

I request that that this procedure or some variation upon it be agreed upon 
and followed, beginning with the posting of my 19 May 1999 revision of the 
30 April 1999 draft of the WATG document.
Eric G. Hansen, Ph.D.
Development Scientist
Educational Testing Service
ETS 12-R
Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541
(W) 609-734-5615
(Fax) 609-734-1090
E-mail: ehansen@ets.org 
Received on Wednesday, 19 May 1999 15:19:04 UTC

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