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Organising meetings and workshops...

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:23:17 +0200
To: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.xdlmo3usy3oazb@chaals.local>
Are there any changes needed to the requirements for organising meetings  
and workshops?

TL;DR: The requirements are remarkably easy-going. My personal preference  
is to tighten up some of them.

I'm waiting to hear thoughts from others before I think about raising  
issues in the tracker...

==Group Meetings:

These are described in Section 3.2  
of the Process Document, which merely states that various requirements  
with respect to advance notice and follow-up *should* be met (even using  
the habitual communications channels to announce meetings is a "should"),  
and that chairs may invite other people as non-voting guests.

It seems to me that some minimum standards for notice should be set as  
"must" - and there is already an exception allowed if there is no dissent  
 from the WG.

I think notice should be *required* via the standard communiation channel  
defined in a group's charter.

==Workshops (The process document also mentions "Symposia" - expository  
events rather than gathering experts. The same rules apply to both):

These are described in Chapter 9 of the Process  

There have been several discussions (e.g. Alex Russell's blog post  
<http://infrequently.org/2013/06/that-old-skool-smell/>) about how a  
workshop which requires position papers, a program committee, and other  
features more commonly associated with double-blind peer-reviewed serious  
academic work is not really appropriate for the web.

These are clearly not based on the process document, whose requirements  
for workshops include "there must be 8 weeks notice - 6 if it is a matter  
or urgence". And that they are organised "by the Team". And nothing else.

My conclusion is that there may need to be clarifications of best  
practice, but I can't find much to change in the process.

==Other meetings

According to Chapter 9, W3C does not run conferences, but participates in  
the IW3C2 series of conferences. This seems inaccurate. As I rarely attend  
those conferences any more I am in no position to judge the value of, or  
even the extent of, the team's participation in them.

But I think the statement is generally incorrect. W3C has organised  
"W3Conf" a couple of times, and there have been calls for more. There are  
various less formal meetups, such as Test The Web Forward events, which  
seem to be organised under no process at all (although it is unclear that  
there is any conflict with the Workshop/Symposia process in practice).

At the very least, it seems W3C should be clearer about what they do at  

I would also like to see a clear set of criteria by which decisions are  
made to attend or "sponsor" (even in name only) conferences. That may well  
includes such as "a staff member is interested and will be in the area, or  
has budget room to attend". After all, that's how many other organisations  
make the decision in many cases.

Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Monday, 31 March 2014 18:23:55 UTC

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