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Re: the MathML comments

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sat, 07 Nov 2009 18:59:22 -0500
Message-ID: <4AF609DA.4030508@intertwingly.net>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
CC: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> Sam Ruby On 09-11-07 22.52:
> 
>> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> 
> 
>> On the other hand, having been posted for the first time on a 
>> Wednesday afternoon/evening, and sent on behalf of the HTML WG on a 
>> Friday morning is simply not enough time.
> 
> 
> The main problem was probably the WG related conference that were going 
> on along side the normal asynchronous work of the group, which normally 
> is held as *the* channel of the group.
> 
> For those of us (myself at least) who only followed the main channel of 
> the group, it was a little surprising to learn that the MathML response 
> caused such confusion. After all, there were several responses in the 
> list.  And discussion happened in the list on other subjects as well, 
> were participants of the conference took part. This might have given  
> e.g. myself the perhaps false impression that the list had more 
> attention from the conference participants than it in reality had.
> 
> Irony: Shelley asked the list for links to pages that showed what went 
> on in the conference. In the end, it turns out that the participants 
> (understandably) low attention to the list made them surprised w.r.t. 
> what happened in the WG ...
> 
>> Let me be clear here: I don't want this to be a witch hunt: the 
>> process was unclear, and that is the fault of the co-chairs.  What is 
>> done is done; what I want to know is what changes to the process 
>> should we consider going forward.  Guidelines from the ASF may help as 
>> a starting point: we require that everybody have had a chance to 
>> review the material (which requires public notification and a minimum 
>> 72 hour period for review, and generally more if we know that there is 
>> a significant holiday or event or any individual indicates in advance 
>> a conflict) AND for a minimum of three independent individuals to have 
>> done so.
> 
> There were at 3 individuals which responded to the letter in list (1 
> Opera, 1 Mozilla, + Philip Tailor). The report itself was even authored 
> by two independent persons. The were 38 hours for collecting comments. 
> Could have been worse.

There are a lot of successes here (this process started over 3 weeks 
ago, was well publicized, and a sufficient number of people were able to 
participate for this to be something we should all support); all this 
and yet confusion happened -- something that we can not dispute. 
Despite this, I will assert that nobody acted in bad faith, and what's 
done is done.

The only remaining question is: how can we do better?

>> Would a set of rules, perhaps even these ones, have helped in this 
>> context?
> 
> 72 hours sounds OK to me, though. Just make clear that the rule is valid 
> also during W3 conferences. Or else, I think we could still hear 
> complaints.

I want to make it clear that at the ASF, while 72 hours is an absolute 
minimum it is no way considered a maximum.  The ASF would tolerate, for 
example, somebody calling for a vote at 9PM on December 23rd and calling 
the vote complete on December 26th.  While we need to set a minimum, we 
also need to provide an opportunity for people to request an extension 
(perhaps even on behalf of others), and then we need those that didn't 
take the opportunity to participate to respect the results.

If somebody -- anybody -- said, for example, that we needed to hold back 
for a few days in order to give Joe an opportunity to contribute, we 
should respect that request -- but only if the request was for a short 
extension and to accommodate a specific set of circumstances.  But 
unless such a request is made, we need to be allowed the freedom to 
proceed quickly.

Make sense?

- Sam Ruby
Received on Sunday, 8 November 2009 00:00:12 UTC

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