Draft Last Call letter for the revision of Chapter 7 of the W3C Process Document

Below is my draft letter to announce the Last Call of Chapter 7 of the Process Document. I have used Mike Champion's elevator pitch draft and inserted a couple of paragraphs the provide context to what we are doing and why it is only Chapter 7. I also appended several items from Jeff Jaffe's original elevator pitch list to the end of Mike's second paragraph. Finally, I have added a paragraph on where to send the comments. The Goal is to send the Last Call this week so comments, if you have them should come immediately.

Steve Z

===============Last Call Letter====================================

The Advisory Board proposes  revisions to Chapter 7 (Technical Report Development Process) of the W3C Process to make it simpler to understand, crisper to execute, yet still consistent with the patent policy, by enabling process steps to happen in parallel.

Almost two years ago, the Advisory Board began a looking for ways to make specification development more agile within the W3C. Both in fora, such as TPAC [1], and via e-mail and member surveys a number of potential topics were identified [2] and prioritized [3]. A number of the prioritized issues could be (and are being) addressed without changes to the W3C Process.

Following the May 2013 AC Meeting, the comments on the prioritized issues were considered and areas where changes to the W3C Process were needed to make improvements were identified. In discussing these topics, the Advisory Board (which is responsible for the W3C Process) realized [4] that some of the major issues related to agility were in the area of the interactions between Last Call, Candidate Recommendation and Proposed Recommendation. Because these are completely specified in Chapter 7 of the current W3C Process, the Advisory Board, temporarily, shifted its focus from a broad set of Procress changes to providing a modified Chapter 7 which is being sent to you as a Last Call Document prior to Review by the Advisory Committee and adoption. The remaining process issues (those not directly related to Chapter 7) have been tabled until a future revision of the W3C Process.

The way web technologies are developed and deployed has changed greatly over the past 20 years, and the AB is proposing  evolutionary changes to the W3C Process to stay in step.  Just as "agile" software development stresses rapid iteration between design and implementation, Web technologies are now implemented and deployed in parallel with spec development. This allows us to combine the Last Call and Candidate Recommendation steps since implementation and testing are more frequently happening earlier than was common when the W3C Process  was formulated. Furthermore the recent emphasis on early and continuous testing, plus the reality that almost all WGs operate in public, means that specs can be widely reviewed in parallel with their polishing and testing. Having fewer process steps while making the entrance and exit criteria more clear and explicit should make the process simpler to understand and follow; encouraging  refinement and review activities to happen in parallel should make standardization faster; and maintaining alignment with the Patent Policy minimizes potential disruption. In addition to combining LC and CR, the specifications of "widely reviewed" and "implementation experience" have been clarified and

non-normative "advice" has been remove to provide a crisper exposition of the Process.

Comments and requests for clarification are requested. The Advisory Board has agreed to do its Process work in public and uses the public-w3process@w3.org<mailto:public-w3process@w3.org> mailing list for this purpose so that is the best place to send comments and questions.

Jeff Jaffe, Chair, W3C Advisory Board
Charles McCathie-Nevile, Editor, W3C Process Document
Steve Zilles, Chair, W3C Process Document Task Force

[1] There were a number of relevant break-out sessions at TPAC 2011:
      and at TPAC 2012:
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2012Mar/att-0007/AB_List_of_Concerns-20120306.htm
[3] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2012AprJun/0024.html
[4] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-members/2012OctDec/0053.html, Day 2, item 4.

Received on Monday, 21 October 2013 22:23:03 UTC