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A proposal for bringing new members "up to speed" on the TAG's earlier work

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2013 11:33:57 -0500
Message-ID: <511D11F5.7020607@arcanedomain.com>
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
CC: Norm Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>, John Kemp <john@jkemp.net>, "T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>, Dan Connolly <dckc@madmode.com>
As we all know, we have just welcomed an unusually large number of new TAG 
members to the group, and we expect to do some thinking in coming months 
about what the TAG's priorities and deliverables should be. This note 
offers a preliminary proposal for  steps we might take in the next few 
weeks to help our new members better understand what the TAG has done or 
tried to do in the past, and what we have considered the scope of our 
mission to be. Developing some shared understanding of these things is 
important if we are to do a good job of figuring out what the TAG is to be 
going forward.

BACKGROUND
----------

There has so far been agreement (IMO) that the TAG should be interested in 
and to the extent practical knowledgeable of the full range of technologies 
and infrastructure that are critical to the robustness and long-term 
viability of the web. At minimum, that means staying on top of developments 
relating to the "three pillars" outlined in WebArch [1]: i.e. 
identification with URI's; interaction, primarily using HTTP; and 
representations including but not limited to HTML, CSS, etc. We have also 
gone further, exploring issues relating to other critical technologies, 
such as the reports within the last year or two of Certificate Authority 
vulnerabilities. In the case of HTTP, it was a visit a couple of years ago 
by guest speaker Jim Gettys that alerted us not only to potentially serious 
buffering problems at the IP layer (buffer bloat) [2], but also to the 
possible importance of technologies like SPDY, which have since emerged as 
critical to proposals for HTTP 2.0.

The following is a proposal for a focused review of more examples like the 
ones listed above. We will remind incumbent TAG members of where we've 
been, but more importantly, we will help our new members to understand the 
scope of the work the TAG has been trying to do, and the progress or lack 
thereof in key areas.

PROPOSAL
--------

I would like to ask all incumbent TAG members, and any former TAG members 
who care to, to each pick a small number of such areas, say 2 - 4 in which 
the TAG has been active, focusing especially on ones that may not be 
familiar to new members. We can quickly then review the lists for overlap 
and agree on priorities as worthwhile to share with the group.

For each that makes the cut, I will ask an incumbent to prepare a very 
short one page or less summary of why the issue is/was interesting, what 
the TAG did, whether any recommendations were made, and whether there may 
follow-up we should consider. I suggest that we not restrict ourselves to 
recent developments, but also briefly highlight some of the TAG's earlier 
important or controversial work, such as Authoritative Metadata [4], 
versioning, etc. Failures are as interesting as successes, IMO.

I envision then having one or two sessions at the face-to-face at which 
these will be presented and briefly discussed, perhaps for 15-20 mins each.

The goal in all this is to get a better shared understanding of how the TAG 
has seen itself to date, what it has tried to do, and what has actually 
done. We can discuss this proposal on today's call, or if there's no time, 
next week. I'm open to constructive suggestions on how to do this better, 
but I strongly believe it's important to do better in helping our new 
members to come up to speed.

Thank you.

Noah

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/
[2] http://gettys.wordpress.com/what-is-bufferbloat-anyway/
[3] 
http://cacm.acm.org/browse-by-subject/communications-networking/144810-bufferbloat/fulltext
[4] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/mime-respect-20060412
Received on Thursday, 14 February 2013 16:34:39 GMT

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