W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > December 2014

Re: What is Process Good For?

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:47:53 -0500
Message-ID: <54900DD9.6040908@intertwingly.net>
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
CC: public-w3process@w3.org
Noting that there doesn't seem to be others agreeing with my points, 
perhaps this thread should be wound down.  At a minimum, I'll respond 
less frequently.

On 12/15/2014 05:52 PM, Jeff Jaffe wrote:
> On 12/15/2014 3:51 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> On 12/15/2014 03:03 PM, Jeff Jaffe wrote:
>>> On 12/15/2014 2:32 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>>
>> And while fragmentations is a theoretical possibility, it is one that
>> rarely occurs.
>
> Fragmentation in open source is quite frequent.  Linux has many forks
> and many incompatibilities.  This might be a feature - a similar code
> base has different requirements in different systems. But fragmentation
> happens.

Valid.  But if you use that definition of fragmentation, then 
fragmentation of standards is also a reality.  To keep this conversation 
lighthearted, I'll steer away from anything contentious.

Select pretty much anything at this web site: http://caniuse.com/

Different browsers are implementing different features at different 
rates.  All, however, are heading in the same general direction.

This is what you see with Linux.  Neither Linux 3.19 nor ECMAScript 6 
are released yet, but both will roll out over the next few years.

>> Can you name a fork of the Apache Web Server?  In fact, it has been my
>> observation that there has is a greater fragmentation around standards
>> (*cough* URI *cough* IRI *cough* URL *cough*) than there is around
>> software.
>
> If it is true that standards tend to fragment, some might view that as
> an important reason to discourage fragmentation.

My concern is that the fragmentation counter-measures that have been 
selected to date have the effect of DIScouraging cooperation, which will 
indirectly ENcourage fragmentation.

>> And the ASF has an equally strong position on the need for consensus.
>>
>> I'd encourage you to not dismiss this so readily:
>
> I don't know what led you to believe that I was dismissive of anything.
> I noted that software and standards are different.  And I explained why
> fragmentation in standards is bad.  I don't consider that as being
> dismissive.

OK.  In that case, I disagree that they are different in ways that 
affect community, consensus, fragmentation, or other topics that we have 
discussed.

>> Meanwhile, I will caution you: if you continue to attempt to keep a
>> tight grip on the standards you have through onerous Invited Expert
>> terms and conditions and Document Licenses, what I suspect is that you
>> will increasingly find that standards will be defined -- WITH
>> CONSENSUS! -- elsewhere.  And the W3C will be reduced to belatedly
>> giving their stamp of approval.
>
>> In fact, an instance of this is exactly what I briefed the AB on
>> earlier today:
>>
>> https://github.com/webspecs/url/blob/develop/docs/workmode.md#preface
>>
>> Is that leadership?
>
> I'm not sure I understand this question.
>
> You have been proposing a workmode for URL and I have been encouraging
> you all the way in my remarks in this process CG.  Are you suggesting I
> should not be supporting this proposal?

Consider the fact that it is a different model.  One where all work is 
being made available under the CC0 license.  One where contributors are 
defined as people who contribute and not by being named by member 
companies.  One where contributors become editors by sustained 
contributions rather than being named by chairs.  One where a growing 
team of editors make technical decisions rather than chairs or directors.

Ponder whether this is a prototype for a new way of working.

I will say this: I'm personally 33 years into a 30 year career with IBM. 
  I have no plans on leaving, but at some point IBM may have other 
ideas.  At which point, I will likely retire instead of looking for 
another employer.  Even so, I expect I will continue to work on the URL 
specification, but I will have no interest in signing the current 
Invited Expert agreement.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:48:42 UTC

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