W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > June 2008

discretion & the issue tracker (was Re: discretion in adding issues)

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 15:59:10 +0100
To: mike@w3.org, rob@robburns.com, connolly@w3.org, chris.wilson@microsoft.com
Cc: public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080604145757.M50519@hicom.net>

aloha, mike!

you wrote,

<QUOTE 
cite="http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-wg-issue-tracking/2008Jun/0002.html">

Yes. I can see that "mess" may sound like a strong word, but it's
actually not in this case. A mess in that a number of us now have
had to spend time on this discussion -- time that would have been
much more productively spent doing the many other things I'm sure
we all have to do that are of higher priority than this. A mess in
that we now have to unwind it and figure out which (if any) among
these issues ever should have been opened to begin with and which
(if any) deserve to remain open.

I'm now thinking that the best way resolve the mess is just by
summarily closing them all and requiring that none of them be
re-raised as issues in the tracker unless/until it has been
demonstrated that they meet the working criteria we have for
tracker issues (articulated by Shawn above).
</UNQUOTE>

this is an EXTREMELY draconian position for a staff contact to take;
the HTML5 draft has been submitted for HTML WG review by the HTML WG,
and it is in this vein that i offered to add rob burns' issues to the
issue tracker; all of them have been vetted and have been the subject 
of discussion, many of them are documented in wiki pages of 
long-standing, and all of them are germane...  in doing so, i and rob
were attempting to advance the work of the WG on issues which have not
had as wide an airing as necessary, hence their addition to the issue 
tracker...  it is not your position to arbitrarily police the issue 
tracker in order to simplify your your life and that of a very vocal 
minority -- the main thrust of the complaints about issues 42-50 is 
that there were "too many" of them submitted at one time...  but, how 
else is one to register them?  the issue tracker automatically emails 
the public-html list when an issue is opened, so one cannot blame rob 
or me for spamming the list with issues...

there has NEVER been a decision to review the HTML5 draft in a specific
sequence (although that might have been a more sane approach at the 
outset of the endeavor), and one person's issue is always bound to be 
another's irritation, but the issues themselves are all valid and worthy
of discussion and consideration by the working group -- many of them 
date back in origin to the early days of the WG, when many a formal 
proposal from individual WG members were either ignored or debated and
ultimately dropped from view due to the daily deluge of email from 
public-html and the self-declared importance of other issues (many of
which i would argue are tangential to HTML5 development per se) -- if 
WG members are not allowed to add issues to the issue tracker, then 
what recourse do those WG members have?  absolutely none; and, by 
arbitrarily deleting issues 40 to 52, you would effectively stifle 
contributions to the WG from all but a selected few...

you are staff contact -- you are the intermediary and facilitator of
the mechanics of the working group; if this (non) "issue" isn't a 
high priority, then what precisely rises to that level, and how are 
individual WG members to participate fully in the drafting process?

without further discussion of this issue by the chairs and the WG, i 
will formally, loudly, and broadly object to an arbitrary deletion of 
issues from the issue tracker without anyone advancing a legitimate 
reason why they should not be considered issues...

all of this begs the question, what function does the WG serve in the
HTML5 drafting process?  are WG members intended to raise and work on 
issues in their particular areas of expertise, or are WG members simply
glorified graduate students, performing research and grunt work for 
the editor, chairs and staff contact only on topics approved by the 
editor, chairs, and staff contact?  that is not the collaborative 
dynamic i have experienced in my dozen years participating in W3C as an
invited expert, nor as a former member of an domain coordination group

in either event, none of this can be simply and safely swept under the 
rug through a mass deletion of issues, nor a stifling of individual WG 
members -- issue tracking policy and the feedback dynamic of the WG
MUST be addressed at the earliest possible opportunity -- if the HTML 
WG is playing by different rules than other W3C working groups, those 
differences MUST be explicitly spelt out, and formal guidelines, rather 
than merely opinion, should govern what is an "appropriate" issue and 
what is a "long term/lingering concern" -- and, perhaps, the tracker 
system needs to be ternary, rather than binary...

either the WG respects the expertise and points of view of individual 
WG members, or it is a sad farce masquerading as a collaborative 
process

gregory.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CYNIC, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, 
not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of 
plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
                         -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
-------------------------------------------------------------------
          Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
UBATS - United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org/
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Wednesday, 4 June 2008 15:00:42 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 7 November 2012 14:18:18 GMT