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

Re: Limiting Charter extensions

From: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2014 20:51:25 +0100
Message-ID: <549C6ABD.8000809@disruptive-innovations.com>
To: public-w3process@w3.org
On 25/12/14 13:59, chaals@yandex-team.ru wrote:

> I am not convinced that it is overkill for supergroups like CSS.

Were you writing this as an AC or as an AB?

If you wore your AB hat, I am not asking you to be convinced or not, I
am asking you to take that feedback, from both the WG and a co-chair of
the WG, under account as an AB Member supposed to represent all ACs.

35 CSS WG members meeting in Paris last year said, consensually, this
is overkill. I think the Staff contacts of our Group can testify the
process was overkill. I also think they already did it in
the past. And did you really read what dbaron wrote here in this
mailing-list?

We did what we did because the Process instructed us to determine
estimates for deliverables and priorities. We prompted W3M about it,
and the obligation to do it was confirmed, twice.

> 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.

Your opinion is for WebApps. I disagree entirely for the CSS WG and
I never dared - and will never dare - expressing an opinion for other
Groups, in particular a WG I'm not a member of.

There are a lot of areas where the process is excessive and gives a bad
opinion of W3C to many spec contributors. This is one. We had to
spend countless hours of meetings and calls for each rechartering, up to
the point Members had enough (and I can easily understand them)...
Contributing to W3C costs a lot, and the time of individual contributors
is best spent ON SPECS, not on process.

Let me repeat: the whole WG and the co-chairs reported a big issue 15
months ago and I still have to "convince" you to listen to our WG's
feedback? Seriously?

> 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.

Why do you make assumptions like that? The first time we
rechartered, we tried to do it really well. Took a year. Second time,
and because of that first experience, we decided to do it roughly.
Still took months. I am saying there is no way for a group of 15
active organizations to find a consensus on even the priorities
of 70 specs in only a few hours of work, in a context of browser war.

Put it in another way: the global $$$ cost of our recharterings is
truly shocking, and I am saying this is because of the Process
constraints. Can we please stop wasting $$$ and be pragmatic again?

> 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.

Sorry, this is probably me, but I cannot understand how one can
"appreciate" data that "may turn out to be wildy wrong" or how
such data can be useful to anyone. Unreliable data are not only
useless but potentially dangerous.

Ok, AC-Reps expect data. There are only two possibilities here: it
is OR it is not possible to provide them with data. I am saying
that, in the general case of our WG, it is not.
We can easily give a list of documents, yes. But even prioritizing
70 documents in 3 categories will take hours of work and probably
three iterations. Make an educated guess about my opinion here...

>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.

We tried several approaches in the last decade. None of them worked.
There are different reasons: confidentiality, industrial practices
(have you ever heard Apple say what their priorities will be six
months later?), time to get feedback from AC-Reps and Legal,
and so on. Even a VERY rough estimate takes months to evaluate.
Do you understand this fuels the "W3C is irrelevant" comments?

Of course, nobody suggested we spend a lot of time on rechartering!
But we were told we HAVE to provide estimates or prioritization even
if we said it takes too much time to do it. In short, this means one or
both of the following items:

   1. you don't work well on this, better execution would cost less time.
   2. we don't care; "dura lex sed lex".

All your message lets me think you're on the "both" side.

My personal feeling is that I am fed up with having to detail and
explain an costly issue like this one. I will fully randomize the
priorities' or time estimates' section of our next rechartering and
submit it "as is" for AC vote.

</Daniel>
Received on Thursday, 25 December 2014 19:51:50 UTC

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