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W3C Policy Breakdown

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 01:55:25 +0100
Message-ID: <055201c14e01$b2f02160$96dc93c3@y0r1d9>
To: "Janet Daly" <janet@w3.org>, <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>, <process-issues@w3.org>
Cc: <www-archive@w3.org>, "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>, <djweitzner@w3.org>
On 5th April 2001, an internal draft of the Patent Policy Framework
document was announced to the chairs:-

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/chairs/2001AprJun/0003

the request for review contained words to the effect that the requestor
would welcome comments from all chairs *and* Working Group members, and yet
public Working Group members were not informed at that time. Is there any
suitable reason for that? The issues that the PPF WD of 2001-04-05 raise
were so clearly of importance to all W3C WG participants, that it
absolutely defies belief that such a document was not put into the public
domain earlier.

Further, I think that this is a general manifestation of an underlying
problem that the W3C has, in that it overassigns a level of privacy to much
of its working content, and thus severely restricts the W3C from achieving
it's goal of "leading the Web to its full potential". The issue has been
raised by many people on many seperate occasions, and I have also received
an enourmous amount of (oft' private) sympathy when confounded by the W3C's
anachronistic privacy policy.

When the archives for feedback comments to the W3C process document are
member confidential, alarm bells start ringing. This is so much a recurring
problem that I wonder how many iterations of a buerocratically inclined
feedback process the hard working members, invited experts, and
contributors of the W3C have to go through until things change for the
better.

The are many examples of W3C privacy paranoia... An excellent one that
springs to mind is the recent TAG process issues. Until the heavily
outspoken concerns from Aaron Swartz et al., it appeared as if TAG dealings
would be conducted evenly over Team and Member confidential space. Now, the
TAG operates over Member and Public space; proof of both the ignorance of
the original decision of confidentiality towards just how important it is
for TAG to be public, and of how public comments can work - that the W3C
does listen. I hope that this email will have a similar effect, but on a
wider scale.

Speking as an invited expert for the W3C WAI ERT, GL and PF Working Groups,
and a long time supporter of the general mission and excellent work that
the W3C carries out,

--
Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 20:56:39 GMT

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