w3process-ISSUE-83 (mchampion): Explicitly allow WGs to customize process steps in their charters [Document life cycle (ch 7)]

w3process-ISSUE-83 (mchampion): Explicitly allow WGs to customize process steps in their charters [Document life cycle (ch 7)]


Raised by: Michael Champion
On product: Document life cycle (ch 7)

Chairs of some of the current "supergroups" have raised -- formally and in the Shenzhen sessions -- concerns that the new process takes away some of their options for driving large, complex specs to a broad consensus.  The focus of the Chapter 7 revision has been to facilitate rapid development of modular specs by a community of technical experts.  Minimizing the number of process steps and making the process simpler by default should help meet that goal. Nevertheless, the new process also needs to be usable by large WGs working on complex specs with a broad, intermittently engaged target audience.  

To accommodate both sets of needs, I propose that the new process document should explicitly allow WG charters to specify additional process steps that refine but do not conflict with the new process or the patent policy.  These steps would be tailored to the needs of a specific working group, and would not require cross-W3C consensus to implement. 

For example, the charter of a "supergroup" could include a something like a "Final Call for Wide Review" that is similar to LC in the current process but would NOT have the patent policy implication that goes with "Old LC" and "New CR". This would serve as a clear signal to stakeholders outside the working group that they have a limited window of opportunity to propose substantial changes.  Likewise it could allow WGs to issue multiple "final calls" without having to move "backward" in the official process.  This could help meet the "wide review" requirement to enter CR in a way that has been shown to work for complex specs with diverse stakeholders without inflicting that process overhead on small, agile WGs. It should also encourage experimentation by working groups to identify best practices that could be incorporated into the next revision of the official process if they prove useful.

Received on Monday, 13 January 2014 20:57:58 UTC