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Re: discretion in adding issues [was: respecification of document.write...]

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 14:21:47 +0900
To: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: Shawn Medero <soypunk@gmail.com>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <20080604052144.GH3141@sideshowbarker>
Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, 2008-05-30 22:44 +0000:

>  The sentiment I tried to convey in this message is that I thought the 
>  deliberations of the WG that are NOT in the issue tracker were not going 
>  well, and I felt the issue tracker was necessary to move these issues along. 

You felt wrong. The next time you have that feeling, I suggest you
ask Dan or Shawn or me ahead of time whether a potential topic you
want to have discussion about meets our working criteria for being
raised as an issue in the tracker.

And note also that at this point, none of issues 42-50 are
actually yet open issues for the group. They are all still
"raised" issues, and we have not yet made any decision to take
them up as issues for the group.

>  I never claimed there was any groundswell. However, I took a 6 month hiatus 
>  from participating in this WG and all of the issues I've raised now were on 
>  the table back then (most in the issue tracker).

That is a data point that should instead have served as a
indicator to you that there was not yet (and not by a longshot)
enough discussion or support of any kind for those issues to merit
raising them as tracker issues for the entire group.

>  On May 30, 2008, at 4:39 PM, Shawn Medero wrote:
> > Here's an example from one that was made into an ISSUE: To say a great
> > amount of discussion went into [ISSUE-43][3] (Client-Side Image Maps)
> > is a very strong misrepresentation. There's almost no discussion of
> > them in the public-html records or on IRC. The [wiki page][4] cited in
> > this issue contains edits entirely from one author.
> 
>  Well it’s easy to belittle the work of other WG members,

Nobody is belittling you or the time you've obviously put into
thinking about that topic. But I can't see that there's anything
inaccurate in Shawn's description above. There in fact has not
been any significant amount of previous discussion about that
issue on the group's mailing list or on its IRC channel. It
therefore very simply does not merit raising as an issue in the
group's issue tracker. It's that simple.

>  but I know that I put a tremendous amount of time into
>  deliberating and understanding the opinions of others as well
>  as identifying the interoperability problems and
>  under-specification of HTML image maps.

Nothing that anybody has said so far in this discussion has
denigrated you or any of the time and energy you've personally
invested in considering that topic. The only point to be made here
is that -- for reasons Dan and Shawn have very clearly articulated
to you -- most or all of issues 42-50 should never have been
raised as issues in the issue tracker. That's it.

>  On May 30, 2008, at 4:39 PM, Shawn Medero wrote:
> > The problem (from my POV) with prematurely opening issues is that they
> > haven't been vetted ... and now it is left to a handful of issue
> > tracking volunteers, the editors, and the Chairs to sort this mess
> > out.
> 
>  Again, calling it a mess simply belittles the hard work of mine and other 
>  members who contributed to these discussions.

No, it does not. Not in any way, shape, or form. Calling it a mess
is calling it what it is: A mess of extra time and work for all of
us that could have been easily avoided if you had taken the time
to ask before the issues were raised.

>  I too am a volunteer and I find it quite offensive to call the contributions 
>  and time I've spent on this WG — in concert with others — "a mess".

Shawn did not describe a mess "the contributions and time [you've]
spent on this WG — in concert with others".

What Shawn called a mess was the fact that in the space of a very
short time you had raised as issues in the group's issue tracker 9
new issues, most or all of which do not seem to meet the working
criteria that we have for tracker issues.

That seems to me to be very clear from what Shawn wrote.

Regardless, to get back to the point that needs to be made here:
The raising of that group of issues represents, absolutely, a
misuse of the tracker, and the only thing that we need to spend
any further time on is considering which (if any) of them should
actually be taken up as open issues for the group.

I'm leaning toward not spending much more time on that at all and
-- recognizing that none of issues 42-50 went through the normal
vetting process we use for tracker issues -- to close them all and
to make sure that going forward we do more to prevent similar
issues from being entered into the tracker prematurely, and to
make sure that everybody with edit access to the tracker
understands what the working criteria are for raising new issues.

>  As I've told Dan and several of my colleagues on the WG (those
>  who are able to regularly attend the teleconferences) that I am
>  ready and willing to put the time in to flesh out these: to
>  facilitate dialog, to spearhead research into the current UA
>  behavior, and even draft sections for HTML5.

You can and should do all of the above without them being tracker
issues. And if/when discussion around those topics within the
group reaches a point that merits raising them as tracker issues,
we can do it then.

>  It is not at all that I want to do this nor that I care all
>  that deeply about any one of these issues. However, I do care
>  that an invitation was made for public participation in this WG
>  and no one genuinely cared to facilitate nor even allow such
>  public participation.

I recommend that you take some time to re-read that last sentence
you wrote a few times and then consider very carefully the group
of people to whom you wrote that -- and, the next time you're
tempted to write something like that sentence again, think a lot
more carefully before doing so.

>  Rather it seems this invitation was merely a publicity stunt to
>  be able to make a claim of unprecedented public participation.

Another sentence for you to spend some time thinking about more.

>  I would really like to see you and others in this WG show a little more 
>  respect to your colleagues on the WG — most of whom are also volunteering 
>  their valuable time.

As far as I've seen, Shawn has never shown any disrespect to his
colleagues in the group. In fact, quite the opposite -- he's gone
out of way to show respect for them and for their time.

And to get back to the point of this discussion: The main outcome
we need from this discussion is for you to realize that most or
all of issues 42-50 should not have been raised as tracker issues,
and to understand why. The "why" should be clear if you consider
the difference between the @alt example that Shawn cited (Issue
31) and the example Shawn cited of the "client-side image maps"
issue (Issue 43) -- and if you re-read this description Shawn gave:

  [The issue tracker] is meant to track WG progress (often
  represented as ACTIONs) on broad concepts concerning the
  specification, [in] cases where there is a groundswell of WG
  discussion about a concept and the issue tracker will help track
  how our decision came to be.

That description and the cited examples seem to me to make things
very clear. But if you still honestly want further clarification,
then feel free to reply with a question about what part of the
above is not clear to you.

But absolutely do not post any further messages
public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org with comments of the "no one
genuinely cared to facilitate nor even allow such public
participation" or "I would really like to see you and others in
this WG show a little more respect to your colleagues on the WG"
variety.

If you want to pursue further discussion along those lines, remove
public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org from the Cc, and directly
e-mail me and/or Shawn or whoever you want to have that discussion
with (leaving www-archive@w3.org in the Cc if you want to keep the
discussion archived).

  --Mike

-- 
Michael(tm) Smith
http://people.w3.org/mike/
http://sideshowbarker.net/

Received on Wednesday, 4 June 2008 05:22:27 GMT

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