Re: Chair's comment on charter renewal objection

On 2013-03-05, at 18:42 +0100, Peter Swire <> wrote:

> I would like to comment briefly on the filing by Alan Chapell objecting to extension of the time line for the Working Group.

Thanks, Peter.

I wanted to add some additional context.

The recent extension of the Tracking Protection Working Group’s charter was a Director’s decision.  As is true for many Director’s decisions that concern operational matters of the W3C process, WG extensions are usually delegated to the W3C management team, where the discussion is typically driven by the responsible Domain Leader.  That happens about once a month, sometimes more often.

There are three pieces I’d like to discuss.

1. The appeal is against the specific decision to extend the TPWG’s charter without change to its scope. That extension decision was appropriate and followed the Process. However, communication around the extension was handled poorly.

2. The decision to extend the Working Group in no way precludes Advisory Committee members from having conversations about the scope and charter.

3. I'd like to recall the actual charter language around User Interface.

1. The appeal

An Advisory Committee representative may always appeal a decision to extend a Working Group charter.  In this case, the specific decision that Alan Chapell seeks to overturn is the extension of the Tracking Protection Working Group announced to the AC on 12 February 2013, and to stop the work of this group.

While the way in which the decision was communicated was more than unfortunate -- my apologies, again, for that mistake --, the decision that Alan Chapell seeks to overturn was appropriate.

For context: Working Group extensions happen frequently (more than we’d like, in fact -- roughly once a month). When groups have not yet successfully concluded their deliverables, as is the case here, it is typically ill-advised to extend the scope of a charter by adding new deliverables or further contentious topics to the scope.

In the specific context, the decision was made shortly after a change in co-chair of the TPWG:  In late November, we had announced Peter Swire's appointment as co-chair with buy-in and public support from a broad range of stakeholders: 

Swire’s first activity was an intense round of outreach to participants in the group in one-on-one meetings, including discussion of plans for next steps in the WG, and including conversations about timelines.

Given the appointment of a new co-chair who was ramping up to drive the Working Group toward consensus, it was appropriate for the W3C management team -- acting on behalf of the Director -- to extend the duration of the TPWG charter as-is, based on the Working Group Chairs’ best available estimates about the group’s schedule.

2. Opportunities for discussion of charter and scope

Alan Chapell’s appeal concludes with the request “that further TPWG work cease until such time as a discussion of the charter of the group may be facilitated by W3C leadership.”

The decision to extend the Working Group without change to the charter in no way precludes discussion about the charter and scope among the Membership. AC representatives may discuss scope changes on the w3c-ac-forum mailing list at any time.

Additionally, we made a specific mailing list available last Friday:

That mailing list would be a good place for a publicly-archived conversation about potential scope changes among interested parties.

3. User interface

Some of the conversation around the charter have been along the line of "user interface is out of scope".  It's worth reviewing the charter's actual language, as that's more nuanced:

> While guidelines that define the user experience or user interface may be useful (and within scope), the Working Group will not specify the exact presentation to the user.

Received on Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:05:18 UTC