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

Re: Limiting Charter extensions

From: <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2014 15:59:35 +0300
To: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-Id: <19511419512375@webcorp02e.yandex-team.ru>
21.12.2014, 20:37, "Daniel Glazman" <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>:
> On 21/12/14 17:40, L. David Baron wrote:
>>> šThe process has never been very heavy. You you write a charter, W3M reviews it, the AC review it, unless there are major objections you publish it. Even the worst case in recent memory - HTML and the license experiment - only took months. And a lot of that time was because instead of just holding the discussion and making decisions, W3C tried to sort out everything in advance so there was no disagreement. So successfully that even the people whose original objection they were trying to satisfy were not satisfied with the result.
> Humppppfffff !!!!
>> šThe CSS 2010-2011 rechartering took over a year. šDiscussion in the
>> šWG started in August of 2010 [1] and the charter was approved in
>> šDecember of 2011 [2].
>> šThe most recent CSS rechartering took only 7.5 months, from November
>> š2013 [3] to July 2014 [4] (though the previous charter originally
>> šexpired in September 2013, so maybe that should count as 9 months).
> I confirm this. And I am surprised any AC - in particular you chaals -
> can say the rechartering process "has never been very heavy". It is
> possibly light for some groups, but I said _multiple_ times in the AC
> Forum or during AC Meetings that it was totally overkill for
> supergroups like the CSS WG.

I am not convinced that it is overkill for supergroups like CSS. I have gone through it several times with webapps, which is comparable, and I think the actual burdens imposed by the process are reasonable, and not excessive.

> To be totally clear: no, this is not CSS WG's fault; the process is
> guilty. So one issue of that kind should be enough to raise a loud
> alarm that should be solved ASAP.
> It takes a long time because it's complex, there are a lot of documents
> involved in the AC review, the constraints on rechartering are not
> light, and I also said multiple times that time expectations for
> deliverables are, in my personal opinion, totally stupid. They take
> a lot, REALLY a lot, FAR TOO MUCH time to discuss and agree. And I
> don't even mention the fact they're usually not realistic. They are
> counter-productive and, let me repeat it, pointless. Remove them and
> we can recharter in two weeks. Remove the prioritization too for the
> same reason.

So if these things are really just a guess (and I agree they are) why do you make a lot of effort to agree on them? The process doesn't require anywhere that you spend months trying to predict the future, just that you set some rough expectations.

To wit:
[[[The nature of any deliverables (technical reports, reviews of the deliverables of other groups, or software), expected milestones, and the process for the group participants to approve the release of these deliverables (including public intermediate results). A charter is NOT REQUIRED to include the schedule for a review of another group's deliverables;]]] - https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/AB/raw-file/default/cover.html#WGCharter

> Prioritization is NOT in the hands of the WG, it's in
> the hands of the implementors

Agreed. And if the AC thinks the priorities are different, they can join the group, and work to make it so. In any event I see no requirement at all for the group to specify its priorities in a charter, although there may be reasons for wanting to do so

> because we rely on their tests and on
> the two implementations we need for REC.
> I see our rechartering process as a failure of an unbearable magnitude,

If you spend a lot of time trying to agree on something you then acknowledge is unlikely to be reliable, I agree there is a failure.

It seems to me that it is in spending a lot of time producing information that is of necessity little more than a guess.

> at least for a supergroup like ours. I repeat: unbearable. I see the
> fact we've been unable to fix this since my september 2013 alert [1],
> 15 months ago, as another failure of unbearable magnitude.
> Whatever we decided here, if a rechartering process takes more than
> a month and more than 2 aggregated days of work, it's from my point
> of view a failure. I urge you all to be more pragmatic and not only
> find a resolution ASAP, but implement it immediately. 15 months after
> september 2013, this is _highly_ time. Thanks.

I believe the upshot of the discussion at that time was that AC reps appreciate getting at least your guesstimates, even if we understand they may turn out to be wildly wrong. I don't think anyone suggested you should spend a lot of time trying to pin them down to perfection, and I don't see anything in the Process that requires you to do so.

It strikes me as reasonable that there is some effort required in maintaining a list of deliverables for a group whose scope is very broad, and it seems that there are good reasons for having such groups. But if the expected milestones are a big cost in maintaining that list, I think you're doing it wrong. Ask the editors, and unless someone disbelieves them, that should be it.


Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
chaals@yandex-team.ru - - - Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Thursday, 25 December 2014 13:00:12 UTC

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