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[off-topic] Re: Getting stuff done at W3C

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:29:37 -0400
To: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: Blockchain CG <public-blockchain@w3.org>
Message-ID: <381dc4d5-26e7-2e0d-f15e-464a4a3849f3@w3.org>
Hi, Melvin, Manu–

This conversation is interesting, but it's out of the scope of the 
Blockchain CG. Let's please respect others' time and attention, and keep 
our conversations on this list focused on blockchain technology, and not 
on W3C process.


That said, I have a response comment which you should feel free to reply 
to offlist, if you wish… :)

On 9/13/16 9:47 AM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
> On 9 September 2016 at 03:02, Manu Sporny wrote:
>>
>> Here's a blog post that might be useful to folks in this group regarding
>> getting stuff done at W3C.
>>
>> https://manu.sporny.org/2016/rebalancing/
>
> I think there's a great solution to help this.
>
> So the premise is that W3C staff are busy, and that resource shortage
> leads to less standarization work.
>
> I think the problem here is W3C staff wearing too many hats.
>
> 1. One hat is to guide the standards process
> 2. One hat is to guide standards technically
> 3. One hat is to predict paths to adoption
>
> I think W3C staff should stick to (1) in as neutral a way as possible,
> and leave (2) and (3) as much as possible to the WG or CG, freeing up
> their time.  (

W3C staff wears a lot more hats than that, but given your problem 
statement and scoping, your solution doesn't resolve the issue.

Part of the reason W3C staff is able to do as much as we can is because 
we pick our battles. We select technologies for development based on our 
technical evaluation of potential impact and value, which is why I'm 
trying to help blockchain work along… I think there's something valuable 
here.

If W3C weren't so selective, we wouldn't have enough technical staff to 
handle all the resulting working groups. Thus, the rate-limiting is what 
makes it possible for us to manage what we're doing with the limited 
resources we have, just the opposite of what you're suggesting. #2 and 
#3 are a relatively smaller percentage of our effort; #1 is the one that 
consumes the most resources. In short, you're reversing causality by 
making false equivalences of effort between tasks.

Further, if W3C didn't guide standards technically and predict paths to 
adoption, we wouldn't have the skill on staff to evaluate technologies 
for quality or market uptake, and the quality of our work and 
interoperability between technologies and between implementations would 
suffer dramatically. W3C staff is discerning by design (even if 
sometimes flawed), and that's why organizations and projects seek to 
have their specifications worked on and published through our process; 
there are plenty of other standards organizations that don't get 
involved at a technical or architectural level, such as OASIS, and there 
are plenty of people who manage the quality of their own work in such 
organizations.

Regards–
Doug
Received on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 16:29:46 UTC

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