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RE: Comments on April XQuery drafts (long, sorry)

From: Rick Jelliffe <ricko@topologi.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 09:42:08 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <03e001c228e2$6ce7b680$4bc8a8c0@AlletteSystems.com>
To: <public-qt-comments@w3.org>

From: "Kay, Michael" <Michael.Kay@softwareag.com>

> Thanks for this contribution, Tim. It echoes what a number of people are
> saying inside the WG. I hope we'll give it the attention it deserves.

> It's not going to be easy to cut back: when 20% of a group really want a
> feature and the other 80% of the group consider it superfluous but harmless,
> the tendency is to put it in (the gHorribleKludge syndrome). 

Just speaking generally, without any comment on the particular situation in the WG,
I think we should be careful not to think that featuritus comes just from committee-
compromises or personalities, which cannot be helped.  (Nor from Stockholm Syndrome :-)   

It is very important that a WG should not be too bound by the decisions it makes
earlier in its life.  For example, a WG had rules that it required a simple
majority to vote something in but an absolute majority to vote something out,
as I believe Robert's rules suggest for committees where the members have
an economic stake in the outcome. This rule seems good, because it prevents
sudden and repeated changes in tack, thus wasting developer time.

But its effect can be harmful for standards-making.  The drafts are prototypes,
and sometimes prototypes, even very advanced ones, reach a stage where 
it become clear that the pig needs a sharper stick to finish it off.

So committee rules themselves can promote that a Working Group finds it
easier to enhance, refine and restate, rather than remove, features. This of course
may apply as much to use-cases and requirements as it does to features. 

I hope the chairs of WGs will keep their eyes on this issue. It is quite possible
for supposedly equitable committee rules (such as the one above, being applied in an
inappropriate circumstance) to prevent "echoes" from being heard.

Rick Jelliffe
Received on Thursday, 11 July 2002 10:22:05 UTC

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