W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2001

Clarifying the TAG

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 11:05:00 -0500
Message-Id: <200107191608.f6JG8Lj04124@theinfo.org>
To: www-tag@w3.org
First, thank you to the W3C for the great strides it has made 
towards openness with this group. However, I think it is 
important to make several clarifications to the charter to fully 
ensure the TAG succeeds in its mission.

In http://www.w3.org/2001/07/19-tag it is written:

> (refer to "Assumed Syntax", by Tim Berners-Lee)

I believe you mean: refer to "Syntax requirements", by Tim Berners-Lee.

> W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative and Internationalization 
> Activity are already producing Architectural Recommendations in 
> the areas of accessibility and internationalization, 
> respectively.

Can you elaborate more on how their relationship with the TAG?

> Issues may be brought to the TAG by a variety of parties: 
> Working Groups, the public, the W3C Team, as part of an appeal 
> to the W3C Director, the TAG itself, etc.

Why not just say "Anyone may bring an issue to the TAG"? As 
written, it implies that W3C Members are not allowed to raise 
issues, since they aren't members of the "public".

> There will be a Member-visible database of issues maintained at 
> the TAG Web site.

Why is this database Member-visible -- since these issues affect 
everyone, they should be public. Or at least, the vast majority 
of them should be public.

> Short-term issue resolutions are subject to appeal by Advisory 
> Committee representatives; refer to the appeal process 
> described in section 6 of the Process Document [PROCESS].

This appeal process really should be made open to members of the 
public. It is essential that they have recourse. See the 
discussion of voting below.

> The TAG is expected to evolve with experience, and its charter 
> may be revised as its role and W3C change. The Director must 
> propose any non-editorial changes to the TAG charter for a 
> four-week review by the Advisory Committee. After the end of 
> the review, the Director must announce the new charter to the 
> Advisory Committee.

The public should be able to propose changes to and have to 
ratify the TAG charter. See the discussion of voting.

> The deliverables of the TAG are its Architectural 
> Recommendations, review reports, and issue resolutions. The TAG 
> may publish a variety of materials (e.g., short-term 
> resolutions to issues that arise)...

These resolutions must all be public and really should be 
publicly appealable.

> Other TAG information, including archives of the TAG's 
> Member-only mailing list, will be confidential within W3C.
[...]
> a Member-visible list for discussions within the TAG and for 
> requests to the TAG from Members that, for whatever reason, 
> cannot be made on the public list. For instance, if the TAG is 
> helping two Member-only Working Groups resolve an issue, it may 
> be necessary to conduct business initially on this list.

Why does TAG have a Member-only mailing list? What were to 
happen if a member of the public raised the same issue that a 
Working Group has raised? This member-only portion should be 
removed. The TAG is should only make architectural decisions, 
and all architectural decisions should be made in public, thus 
the TAG should only operate in public.

> In rare cases (e.g., when the TAG hears an appeal of a rejected 
> Submission request), TAG deliberations may be confidential to 
> the TAG and Team.

This seems even sillier. Obviously whomever is submitting the 
document wants it to be public, otherwise they wouldn't have 
submitted it, right? If the TAG is having a discussion on the 
architectural principles in the document, this discussion should 
be public. If this is not true then the Charter should clearly 
explain why this is so.

> The TAG may create additional topic-specific, public mailing lists.

The charter should be changed to read "topic-specific, public 
discussion lists (not just input)".

> Meetings

The results (minutes, etc.) of all meetings must be made public.

> The remaining five TAG participants are elected by the W3C 
> Advisory Committee following the AB/TAG nomination and election 
> process.

The election process must be public for such an important body 
such as the TAG. (See, for example, the ICANN elections.) The 
election could be limited to to people with users of the Web, or 
people with websites. I would be happy to work with the W3C to 
plan and create a suitable election system.

Please let me know if anything I've said is unclear,

--
       "Aaron Swartz"      | ...schoolyard subversion...
  <mailto:me@aaronsw.com>  |  <http://aaronsw.com/school/>
<http://www.aaronsw.com/> | because school makes kids dumb
Received on Thursday, 19 July 2001 12:05:35 GMT

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