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last call is for double-checking earlier comments, not for starting review

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2006 15:27:29 -0500
To: wai-eo-editors@w3.org
Cc: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>, "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1157488050.9288.1009.camel@dirk>

In "How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process"
I see...

"The main purpose of the Last Call is to provide a complete document for
thorough community review. After the Last Call comment period, it can
take weeks or months for a Working Group to formally address all
comments, document the resolutions, and make necessary changes. If there
are substantive changes, the Working Group goes through another Last
Call Working Draft before moving to the next stage."
 -- http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/w3c-process

The main purpose of Last Call is to
double-check that review is complete; i.e. to check that
the result of integrating earlier comments is satisfactory.

The text quoted above suggests that Last Call is a good
time to _start_ reviewing a draft. I think that's a terribly
counter-productive message to send. Please change it.

Also, the "it can take weeks or months" text seems overly
dramatic, given that there is nothing under "Working Draft"
about turn-around time for comments. I suggest something like:

(under Working Draft)

  Working Groups welcome public comments on Working Drafts and
  respond to them on a best-effort basis. While we try to respond
  to most comments within a week or two, conflicting input
  from multiple source may merit several weeks or months to
  reconcile. Comments received earlier in the process are usually easier
  for the Working Group to integrate, though there is a risk
  that the draft will change in later revisions. To be sure
  about how your comments are ultimately handled, double-check
  when Last Call is announced.


Then change the Last Call item to:

  Last Call Working Draft: When a Working Group believes it has
  addressed all technical requirements, it announces a Last Call
  Working Draft. The main purpose of the Last Call is to provide
  a complete document so that reviewers can check that
  the result of integrating earlier comments is satisfactory.
  The Working Group is required by W3C process to address every
  issue raised in during the Last Call comment period; that is:
  to consider the issue, decide which changes to make, seek
  consensus with the reviewer, and document the ultimate disposition.
  Again, conflicting input from multiple source may merit several
  weeks or months to reconcile. If there are substantive changes,
  the Working Group goes through another Last Call Working Draft
  before moving to the next stage.


You might also mention that last call includes a deadline for
comments. I can't seem to find a succinct way to explain
it. Perhaps leaving it out is just as well.


-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Tuesday, 5 September 2006 20:27:56 GMT

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