W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > November 2009

Re: the MathML comments

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2009 07:36:39 -0600
Message-ID: <643cc0270911080536s25d863d1k9f665d5fcdee34ca@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>
>>> 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.
>> In addition to two days being a short time in general, WG members who
>> were attending TPAC were likely not fully caught up public-html email
>> that was sent during the TPAC week. I have sympathy for the claim of
>> being unaware of the contents of the comments because I was myself
>> unaware, despite being fully caught up on email right before TPAC.
> It was an unfortunate situation.
> Per our charter, the HTMLWG primarily conducts its technical work on
> this public-html list.
> However, I have sympathy for those at TPAC caught off guard.
> I also have sympathy for the reviewer who took initiative and did an
> outstanding job without a clear procedure in place and was
> subsequently met with supportive IRC comments. She performed well
> without direction. A true pioneer.

I think I missed the supportive IRC comments. Too bad, I would have
liked to see these.

Note, that Joe also contributed comments. If I'm not referencing his
name that much in this discussion it's because I was the one who
pushed the comments to the MathML group, though Joe was aware of our
commitment to publish by a specific date.

> Shelley, as the pioneer in this, your insight on process improvement
> would be most valuable going forward in establishing a clear procedure
> for reviewing as well as a favorable communication environment. Do you
> have suggestions? What could be improved?

Thank you for your kind words, Laura, but I don't have anything
particularly new or innovative to add to this debate.

I volunteered because Paul Cotton posted a note that no one was
volunteering and the MathML would, in effect, be met by silence from
this group. I believe Joe may have volunteered for same reason.

Paul sent a private email to me and Joe, and cc'd to Sam and Maciej,
when we would be finished. I replied on the 5th or 6th, and Joe
responded with the same time, and that he'd send any comments he had
to me. My responsibility was to prepare the comments for publication,
and to publish to the group.

If I could have finished the draft for the comments earlier, I would
have. However, even if it had been published on Monday or Tuesday, we
still would not have had any more comments, the people still would
have been at TPAC the entire time, the folks still would not have
noticed the proposal, and still would have been "taken by surprise" at
the MathML meeting.

If I had waited another couple of days to submit the final comments to
the MathML, I would have not met my date commitment, I doubt we would
have had additional comments from this group, the members would still
have been at TPAC and oblivious to much--except the discussion on
namespaces. Folks magically noticed that one. Perhaps I should have
figured a way to incorporate "namespace" into the title of the email.

As it was, the group had something to discuss with the MathML at the
meeting. If we had sent the comments after, most of the discussion at
the meeting probably have revolved around, "Can we expect comments
from the HTML WG?"

Forgive my bluntness, but this was less about procedure and more about
the divisive politics that has marred any effort of this group. To
which I'll also say "guilty" from time to time, but not in this case.
The only intention with the MathML comments was to ensure that
_something_ came from this group to the Math WG: both as a sign of
respect for the Math WG accomplishment, and hopefully provide some
useful feedback.

As for going forward:

-Provide a calendar of commitments that don't fit into the issue
tracker that would help keep people informed of what deliverable is
due when. Then it's up to the members to ensure they have time to
respond if they're interested.

-Add the notes to the bottom of the comments emails, as per Sam's note.

-Support some minimum 72 hour window, as minimum for comments. Note,
though, that there are times when supporting a minimum length of time
could mean nothing is delivered. This group has to determine which is

-We could also establish rules about when such deliveries aren't made,
but I find that arbitrary. TPAC comes once a year, and if we stress
holiday times -- which holidays? This is an international group, from
many countries and faiths.

> Laura L. Carlson

Received on Sunday, 8 November 2009 13:37:11 UTC

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