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Re: Update on Technical Architecture Group

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2001 21:54:46 -0400
Message-ID: <3B490EE6.6AA6824@w3.org>
To: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>, www-talk@w3.org

Hello.

Four weeks ago, Aaron Swartz introduced a thread [0] based on a topic
presented at the W3C Technical Plenary [1], a meeting that was open only
to W3C Working Group members, but considered open; that is, there were 
no constraints of Member-confidentiality with regard to the agenda [2] 
or discussion. At the Technical Plenary, we had discussions related to 
a proposal being considered by the W3C Membership for a Technical 
Architecture Group (TAG).

Aaron's post created a fair bit of both light and heat on the www-talk
mailing list, not to mention a personal request to me to speak on the
topic. With this response, I hope to provide some clarity, 
an update on the TAG proposal, some guidance on what is to follow,
and to float out opportunities for your consideration and participation.

<background>
The first ideas for the TAG actually preceded the creation of the
xml-uri mailing list [3], one in which Tim Berners-Lee relinquished his
Director's role to engage in open discussion with the community at
large. Lots of posts resulted, and there was initial praise from the
community for the commitment to open discussion. However, it's safe to
say that many of the participants, regardless of the position(s) they
held, left with a wish for a different way to produce a solution. The
experience reinforced the perceived need for architectural
recommendations, though it didn't indicate who would write them, and
what weight they should have.
</background>

As W3C has grown, there have been more frequent requests for
documentation of architectural principles that cross multiple
technologies. People ask, "How do W3C technologies fit together? What
basics must people know before they start developing a new technology?"

To improve the effectiveness of Working Groups, to reduce
misunderstandings and overlapping work, and to improve the consistency
of Web technologies developed inside and outside W3C, the W3C Advisory
Board, with input from the W3C Team and Members, developed the proposal
for a TAG. That proposal has been through W3C member review, and reviews
take time - both for the commenters and for the receivers of the
comments,
as they need to evaluate the comments and make changes when appropriate.

Like the W3C Process Document [4], the proposal's interim or review
versions are not published, public versions are subject to public
review, and future versions may be revised based on public comment. It
is my (personal) hope that we will have a document to share soon; at
the time we post the TAG charter, we will also be sending out a call
for nominations for the TAG. Nominees are not restricted to the W3C
Membership; while only W3C Members may nominate individuals, there have
been occasions when people outside of the W3C Membership were nominated
and elected to positions on the W3C Advisory Board. It is certainly 
possible for this to happen on the TAG.

Once it is posted, either I or another person from W3C will provide 
answers to your questions in a more timely manner than this response. 
Please do not mistake the delay in my providing a response with that 
of W3C. I own the delay and apologize, as you deserved a more prompt 
response; you are welcome to direct your criticisms to me about
timing.

In addition to Q&A on the www-talk mailing list, you are also welcome
to talk with the Working Group members you know (if you belong to a
Working Group) or to your Advisory Committee representative (if you are
a Member).

[0] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/2001MayJun/0076.html
[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/02/allgroupoverview.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/02/Plenary/Agenda.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-uri/
[4] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process

Best regards,

Janet
--

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Janet Daly, Head of Communications
MIT/LCS NE43-363
200 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

voice: 617.253.5884
fax:   617.258.5999
http://www.w3.org/
janet@w3.org
Received on Sunday, 8 July 2001 21:54:43 GMT

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