W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-council@w3.org > January 2013

Re: Some templates started [Was: Missing op agreement warning]

From: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2013 11:35:58 -0800
Message-ID: <50E72F1E.6030404@linux.intel.com>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
CC: "Young, Milan" <Milan.Young@nuance.com>, "public-council@w3.org" <public-council@w3.org>
I think the statement "all communication outside the operational 
agreement is non-binding." is wrong and also could be set new (and bad) 

Member agreements, contributor agreements and through those the process 
are binding, so it isn't just some of what is in charters that is 
binding.  It also implies that all of the operational agreement is 
binding and it isn't.

Even in WGs statements that particular specs will be written aren't 
binding.  It isn't uncommon WGs decide not to write specs promised in 
their charters.  Dates, frequency of meetings, etc are a best guess.

It also implies that it OK not to meet commitments that are not in the 
operational agreements.  If the CG page prominently said that in the 
event of objections to decisions the group can call for a vote on the 
matter to make the decision.  I would want W3C to at least have the 
option to act on that if it was violated.  Or the group being able to 
act if some party routinely ignored commitments.  We don't want the W3C 
saying a group has to amend the constitution to have any faith that 
anything would be done.

Because there may have been instances where someone thinks there was bad 
behavior and W3C didn't act, we shouldn't say everyone should expect bad 
behavior and W3C cannot act.  I think it's best to leave what W3C can do 
somewhat vague, so they can act where they need to. For instance, it may 
be the right decision for a group to decide a spec in its charter makes 
no sense or can't be agreed on.  Or it could be they aren't working on 
any of their deliverables and should be shut down.  So it's good to have 
it in the charter and sometimes to hold them to it.  same thing for 
meetings the charter says the group will have.  If they don't do that 
and the group is happy, no problem.  if it is a problem, then something 
could be done.

How about dropping the parts Milan think are useless so it is more 
focused.  I'll do that with Ian's latest wording.  And I'll add another 
sentence to make the warning Milan wants clearer (I think).

Note: This group does not (yet) have a charter that describes its scope,
deliverables, and decision process. Groups that
do not document their practices run a greater risk of disappointing
participants due to different expectations about operations and decision-making.
Given the lightweight oversight of these groups, the best guarantee that they will operate as the group expects is to have it formally written down.

On 1/3/2013 6:05 PM, Ian Jacobs wrote:
> On 3 Jan 2013, at 1:16 PM, Young, Milan wrote:
>> I have two issues with the proposed language:
>>   * It doesn't grab the reader's attention.  Anyone with a high school education already knows formal arrangements promote trust.  Putting statements like that up front leads the reader to believe the rest of the paragraph is blah blah.
>>   * Even if the reader does make it to the content, there is little information.  They learn the decision making process can change without an op agreement, but that probably isn't surprising.   The truly surprising part (ALL communication outside the op agreement is non-binding), remains unstated.
>> I will only support language that clearly communicates the potential risk.  If we are embarrassed by the potential risk, then our effort should be applied towards reducing the risk not sugar-coating around it.
> Hi Milan,
> Maybe a useful way to make progress on this question is to analyze the difference between a CG and a WG.
> I'm not so much interested in the explicit differences like "the Director chooses a WG Chair; the CG chooses its Chair" .
> There's another difference that's explicit: W3C requires WGs to follow a consensus process; we merely recommend that CGs do.
> You wrote: "all communication outside the operational agreement is non-binding." What would you contrast that statement with in the W3C process for Working Groups?
> Ian
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Wayne Carr [mailto:wayne.carr@linux.intel.com]
>>> Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 8:25 PM
>>> To: Young, Milan
>>> Cc: Ian Jacobs; public-council@w3.org
>>> Subject: Re: Some templates started [Was: Missing op agreement warning]
>>> I'm starting to understand Milan's point better.  Saying "ask them" when the
>>> problem he's worried about is not trusting them, doesn't help, and possibly
>>> hurts.  But I'd also like to keep it positive in tone, like it is.
>>> How about:
>>> Note: This group does not (yet) have a charter that describes its scope,
>>> deliverables, and decision process. Groups that clearly document their
>>> practices promote participation, build trust, and avoid conflict that arises from
>>> differing expectations. In the absence of a charter, participants may find that
>>> the way decisions are made change over time or violate their expectations of
>>> how the group was to operate.
>>> On 12/27/2012 5:05 PM, Young, Milan wrote:
>>>>> From: Ian Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]
>>>>> I think our obligation is to say "You must be attentive." I do not think our
>>> obligation is to scare people off.
>>>> [Milan] I don't want to scare people off either, but it's wrong to omit details
>>> that would surprise them.  I'm certain people would be surprised to learn, for
>>> example, a chair can make commitments on a public forum and then recount
>>> without due process to the group.
>>>> There are only two choices:
>>>>    * Educate participants on topics that are likely to surprise them.  The
>>> visibility of the education must be in proportion to the expected surprise.  A
>>> "note" that participants should "seek additional information" isn't
>>> proportional to the potential dangers.
>>>>    * Change the rules so that surprising circumstances are prevented by the
>>> framework.  I'm sympathetic to the difficulties opposing this approach.
> --
> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
> Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
Received on Friday, 4 January 2013 19:36:26 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:24:16 UTC