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TAG productivity, elections, and httpRange-14

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 15:27:17 -0700
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D194AB19D7D@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
-1 to bringing Robin's proposal about election 'reform' to the AB or AC.  How the TAG gets elected is irrelevant if in two elections there were (a) exactly as many volunteers as open slots (when I got elected), and  (b) three candidates for two slots. If there were lots of candidates, the election method might matter more (although not much, since the TAG has no authority, only responsibility.)

I'm definitely concerned about "how the TAG operates", but think it better to focus on how the TAG can actually produce what the TAG chartered to do. 

The TAG is chartered primarily to produce Architectural Recommendations. The charter does not mention "findings". There is some mention of short-term decisions, but httpRange-14 is 10 years old, and hardly "short term". Of the many TAG findings and draft TAG findings, almost none have gone to Rec or been subject to review of community consensus.  So the fact that httpRange-14 doesn't represent community consensus -- well, neither do most of the other TAG findings. 

My serious proposal for TAG reform is:

Mark any 'finding' more than a year old as 'historical', and start with a clean slate. The TAG should not take on any additional work that the TAG does not plan to take to produce an Architectural Recommendation or its equivalent (influencing an IETF standards track document, for example, would be within charter), and obtain community consensus.

As for httpRange-14: anyone concerned about this should be told that the original TAG finding is historical, not binding, and of no import. If they don't like 303, fine, propose something else. 

In the TAG, we should focus on the issues where we've identified a pressing need and are making some progress (Publishing and Linking, Privacy by Design, Security of DNS infrastructure, for example) and develop the architectural underpinnings necessary to deal with them.

For most of those issues, I think the framework in AWWW (and thus the question httpRange-14 asks) is inadequate to model.

For example, "Publishing and Linking" and "Deep linking" need a different model of the "meaning" of a URI, in order to account for agency and responsibility.  Linking to a statement and publishing a statement are, in our conception, different acts and should be treated separately. Linking to a "home" page and linking to an "Inner" page are different acts, but we are claiming they should be treated similarly.   

Whether the statements are published in RDF or in HTML, though, the notion of having a 'function' that maps from identifier to concept identified, independent of the agent doing the mapping, the time in which it is being done, are elided just in the situation where they need to be explicitly identified.  

I might phrase http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2009Jun/0101.html differently today, although I stand by the sentiment: talking about httpRange-14 (as it is formulated) is like talking about angels and pins.

I'd challenge anyone to describe the editor's "Publishing and Linking" draft in semantic web terms.

 Frankly, I think the semantic web has reached a scalability barrier because it is currently based on an architectural model which doesn't sufficiently model provenance, identity, and the nature of the differences between publishing, republishing, linking, mash-ups, cross-origin, web applications, web sockets, RTCWeb, the possibility of trading RDF in instant messaging, RSS news feeds, email... 

Continuing to try to resolve a problem without looking at the fundamentals is just a waste of time.

Larry
--
http://larry.masinter.net












Received on Monday, 23 April 2012 22:27:53 GMT

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