Decision process: Formal Objections and consensus in the W3C process

Some have suggested that the "Decision process" section
at the bottom of the survey
could have been more clear.

It says there

  A "no" vote in this survey is a formal objection.

and quotes the W3C process document in brief:

  An individual who registers a Formal Objection should
  cite technical arguments and propose changes that would
  remove the Formal Objection.

Chris Wilson and I put the question on HTML 5 mostly
as a formality; as far as I could tell, the discussion
resulted in consensus. The survey was mostly a mechanism
to double-check. So I'm a bit surprised that we
have a formal objection; I wonder if it was intended that way.

A larger excerpt from the process document is perhaps relevant:

3.3.2 Recording and Reporting Formal Objections

In the W3C process, an individual may register a Formal Objection to a
decision. A Formal Objection to a group decision is one that the
reviewer requests that the Director consider as part of evaluating the
related decision (e.g., in response to a request to advance a technical
report). Note: In this document, the term "Formal Objection" is used to
emphasize this process implication: Formal Objections receive Director
consideration. The word "objection" used alone has ordinary English

An individual who registers a Formal Objection SHOULD cite technical
arguments and propose changes that would remove the Formal Objection;
these proposals MAY be vague or incomplete. Formal Objections that do
not provide substantive arguments or rationale are unlikely to receive
serious consideration by the Director.

A record of each Formal Objection MUST be publicly available. A Call for
Review (of a document) to the Advisory Committee MUST identify any
Formal Objections.

So a "no" response in the survey is not only an indication of
your opinion on the question, but a request that, if the group
proceeds over your objection, your objection be reviewed
(a) by The Director when we request Candidate Recommendation status,
(b) by the W3C membership when they consider whether any
Proposed Recommendation from this WG should become a W3C Recommendation.

Gareth,  if you meant that when you chose the "no" option,
very well. Otherwise, the "Blank vote" may be used to abstain;
your rationale will remain on record (along with an archive of
all the email you sent in the discussion, of course).

Dan Connolly, W3C
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E

Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 22:47:45 UTC