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Re: Publishing a new draft (HTML5+RDFa)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 16:51:16 -0700
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-id: <35C60123-4B96-4109-B7AF-2A34BBAD9F6A@apple.com>
To: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>

On Jul 30, 2009, at 11:33 AM, Ben Adida wrote:

> Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> This is dangerous territory. I represent Creative Commons, which  
>>> pays
>>> W3C dues. As of a few days ago, I'm a member of the HTML WG (after
>>> having been encouraged to join by you). How does anyone get to say  
>>> that
>>> my vote doesn't count? Who gets to decide who votes as a block?  
>>> Does the
>>> WHATWG vote as a block? Probably, and probably with a lot more  
>>> sway than
>>> any other group.
>> Ultimately, and in order: the chairs, the Interaction Domain Lead,  
>> and
>> then the Director of the W3C.
> Are you referring to my question "who gets to decide who votes as a
> block?" I don't think *anyone* should get to decide. We have rules for
> membership, and we should follow them. If the Director wants to  
> override
> a working group's vote, well okay that may be his prerogative, but the
> public record should show the invididual votes, and the process until
> then should be the same for all.

I don't think Sam is talking about voting or polls here. I'm not sure  
I am totally on board with his process for new Working Drafts, but  
I'll try to explain my understanding. The idea is that any new Working  
Draft should have at least 3 independent contributors - where  
"contributor" can be interpreted quite loosely. Someone making a  
concrete technical comment on the list that leads to a spec change  
would be a contributor for example. I think the idea here is to ensure  
that any Working Draft has the potential to be a genuine work product  
of the Working Group as a whole, and not just a one-person exercise.  
And blocs of single-issue voters might not provide the needed  

Let's use a hypothetical example. Suppose the MathML Working Group  
felt really strongly that MathML in HTML5 should be strict XML, and  
made a draft with that change which no one had contributed to but  
MathML WG Members. In this hypothetical scenario, there is no evidence  
of outside interest beyond the core group. Now, on the other hand,  
let's say a MathML WG member produced a new draft with  some changes  
totally unrelated to MathML, all of which were suggested by people who  
coincidentally happen to be members of the MathML WG. That, I imagine,  
would be much less cause for concern, since it's not a single group  
working to advance their own interests.

Now, I'm not really sure if this is a sane way to work, but I think  
it's clear that what is being proposed is a viability test based on  
having a sufficiently broad contributor base, not a vote as such. Sam,  
as I understand it, proposes that a draft meeting such conditions  
could advance to WD even without full consensus. I'd hope there would  
be a vote, or at least a nonbinding poll, before FPWD, and that's the  
domain where Process-defined Member-granularity voting would be the  
relevant consideration.

Received on Thursday, 30 July 2009 23:51:57 UTC

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