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Re: small logistics reminder - meeting minutes -

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 20:49:50 +0200
To: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
cc: www-qa-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <r01050300-1015-E81FB26395C811D6BBA400039300CF5C@[192.168.1.7]>

Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com> wrote:

>You got our attention -- message received!  Really, thanks for your
>input and feedback.

Glad you found it usefull. :-)


>By the way, a question about minutes format/quality:  the style that
>you see [...] is a result of doing the minutes on IRC and capturing
>the log.  Several of our minutes (even final) have this format.  Is
>that a problem, i.e., too distracting or hard to understand?  For
>those QAWG members who like to do minutes this way, it is a real
>benefit for real-time visibility to QAWG members and any others who
>tune in to the IRC channel.

As I am one of those who "tune in" to the IRC channel, I very much
appreciate the play-by-play on IRC. It provides and excellent way to follow
the debate without having to "wheedle" telecon participation out of one of
the chairs. :-)

Especially since listening in on the Telecon is not necessary for my level
of participation. Watching the scribing on IRC is sufficient to stay
(minimally) informed.

However, once the minutes are published in email or on a web page, the IRC
style is not the most appropriate IMO. IRC has it's limitations, especially
when you scribe to it in "real time", that do not apply to those other
mediums and which should not be carried over.

A more "narrative" style, using complete sentences and expanding somewhat
on issues that are not necessarily clear in the original short form, would
aid readability and understanding quite a lot. I also do not think that
would be an undue burden to place on the writers; it certainly takes more
time then a cut&paste from an IRC log, but not, I do not think,
disproportionately so.


The minutes from the 2002-06-27 and 2002-07-03 are more or less what I have
in mind. The Draft minutes from 2002-07-10 OTOH border on being a problem
(sorry Karl! ;D).


Ideally, I would wish to see the minutes more in the form of the "Kernel
Cousin" publications. These summarize discussion topics on various
topically bounded mailinglists in a style somewhat similar to the "Week In
QA". While not an exact fit with the classical style of meeting minutes,
they do seem to fit well with the somewhat exceptional form of these
particular meetings (publicly transparent, conducted over the phone).

As an example, I've converted a portion of the 2002-07-10 minutes to this
style. If I in places appear to have completely misunderstood something,
chances are good that this is caused, or at least aggravated, by the
abbreviated style of the original minutes!

-- begin example

QA Working Group Teleconference - Thursday, 27-June-2002

Scribe:    [...]
Attendees: [...]
Regrets:   [...]
Absent:    [...]


** Summary of New Action Items:

* ACTION: AT, A-2002-07-10-1,
          Send a mail to the list explaining the issue with regards
          to the "Use case" of Checkpoint 1.2.

* ACTION: AT, A-2002-07-10-2,
          Send a clarification for Guideline 3 [to $recipient(s)].

* ACTION: PF, A-2002-07-10-3,
          Write the proposal for [Checkpoint?] 3.4 with examples.


** Agenda: [...]
** Previous Minutes: *** to be done ***


** Minutes:

* Attendance for Tokyo F2F.
  Lofton Henderson asked for indications of attendance for the
  Tokyo F2F from the WG Members. [Apparently there was no reply.]

  He also reminded the participants that there were previous minutes
  that were past due. The draft minutes are to be reviewed in the week
  following the telecon, and the final version published after one week.
  A notification of their availability is to be posted to the QAIG
  mailinglist.

  Note was made that Terje Bless had asked for better writing of minutes
  by way of the the QAWG mailinglist.

  He went on to ask if it would help to have a link at the top of the
  template for Minutes Of Meeting, pointing to the Logistics Guide for
  Minute Takers.

  [ Apparently there was no reply, and no comments. ]


* Improved IG-WG communication & participation [7].

  Olivier Thereaux opened by explaining the issues with the list
  management and discussions. "We have the opposite effect [of what
  was intended] right now. The WG list is active and not the IG list.
  We should [try to] bring discussions back to the IG list."

  Lofton Henderson replied, "First of all, we completely agree that
  a lack of activity on [the] IG list is not good. We should keep the
  IG list [better] informed." But he also noted "The QA WG also needs
  a Core of regular people working on things to close the issues." and
  wondered if "It will be difficult to separate the two things?". He
  concluded by saying he was somewhat reluctant to move everything to
  the QAIG list.

  Karl Dubost followed up with his thoughts. "When we have an issue
  for the IG, we can post it on the IG list for discussion. When it's
  related to documents, [we can discuss it on the IG list] and post
  the resolution to the WG list." Lofton Henderson agreed that was
  one possibility.

  Olivier Thereaux agreed that it would be difficult to move from one
  list to another. He suggested instead to raise issues [also?] on the
  IG list to get feedback from the IG membership.

[I have no idea of what Lofton is supposed to be saying here!]
[[[
  LH It's agood idea.
  .... we could add the A week in QA a summary of what'sgoing
  s a short clarifying note and wonders if it'd be better to stay clear of
it *
  .... on the WG list too.
]]]

  Olivier Thereaux thought that sounded good, but worried that the
  "Week in QA" 2 week schedule would be too long an interwall.

  Lofton Henderson explained that the "Week in QA" had become
  "Month in QA" this month as there had been very little traffic
  on the lists.

[OT apparently proposed a solution, but I can't tell what it is!]

  Lofton Henderson asked when the next publication was and whether there
  was any "HOWTO" document for the process. Jack Morrison chimed in with
  the answer. [ OT and Karl apparently agreed to something? ]

  http://www.w3.org/QA/2002/02/aweekinqa -- Requirements with HOWTO

  He also asked Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux for a pointer to the last good
  edition and any tips he might have. Dominique [apparently had recently
  read something and then made a good summary of whatever it was].

  Lofton further proposed that a note could be sent to the IG list
  informing them of the Telecon Agenda in advance. The motivation being
  to get people to participate by sending in comments by email, or
  asking to be allowed to attend the Telecon directly if necessary.

  Olivier Thereaux agreed, but noted that it might have an adverse
  effect on the Schedule in addition to helping improve the Agenda.

  In the end it was decided to expand the scope of the "Week in QA"
  publication, flag technical issues to the IG list to improve
  communication and participation, and to at least improve the
  reliability of the Minutes. It was also resolved that the QAWG
  will attempt to increas it's disclosure to the QAIG.

  [ Were there any _un_resolved issues? ]

-- end example

Hopefully that illustrates the direction I'm suggesting without seeming
overwhelming to the poor sods actually writing these things. :-)

I'm not suggesting turning the minutes into dissertations! Only to set the
goals somewhat differently. For instance, just making sure that you follow
common grammtical rules and write in complete sentences when the "IRC"
style minutes are converted to email/web, would go a long way towards
reducing the cognitive impedance.


Thank you for listening!


Best Regards,
Terje Bless
Received on Friday, 12 July 2002 14:55:54 GMT

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