Re: " W3C Culture" CG? RE: Problems I'd like to see addressed in Process 2016

Thanks Charles, I had forgotten about  .  I don’t think what I have in mind is a CG to advise the staff on how to update the Guide.  I was thinking more like a CG to crowdsource a "Guide for a Revitalized W3C.   It might:

-  Critically review the  written (in the Guide and Process Document) and unwritten W3C policies and cultural norms to identify those that really work in practice and those that haven’t aged well or don’t align with modern industry and OSS practice.
- Give open minded consideration to common critiques of W3C culture, e.g. our regrettable tendency to “bikeshed all things”<>
- Build a living document advising how to build royalty-free, truly interoperable specifications with broad consensus in an efficient way.  The document should  clearly distinguishes what is proven best practice and what are promising ideas worth trying.

The CG should “eat its own dogfood” as much as possible, operating by the cultural principles it selects and using the tools that its research finds most effective.   And if the CG finds itself bikeshedding on some unimportant details of culture because they are easier to grapple with than the problem it set out to solve, it should put itself out of its misery!

From: "<>"
Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 4:24 PM
To: Michael Champion, "<>", W3C Process Community Group
Subject: Re: " W3C Culture" CG? RE: Problems I'd like to see addressed in Process 2016

23.04.2015, 06:48, "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <<>>:

> Do we need a "W3C culture" CG ?

I’m intrigued because I *almost* added to my message yesterday another point I’ve been hearing – One reason it takes so long to get things done at W3C is the reliance on email, which encourages conversations to wander and fragment rather than move toward a conclusion. Supposedly that’s one reason why people are gravitating toward GitHub – it has an integrated set of tools to raise issues, discuss them, record the resolution, and map the resolution back to a pull request implementing it.

BUT it only takes a bit of discipline and manual labor to do this with Bugzilla and email… so is the problem one of tooling or culture?  Or simply that many chairs don’t know the best practice for getting stuff done by discouraging people to wander off into the weeds when they’re trying to get a spec done?

I think the latter is a problem we suffer from a lot.

To some extent the Process Document has been a collection of best practices advice as well as a document describing the rules by which WGs operate.  If that’s the case, then this culture / best practices discussion belongs in this CG, since it’s where a conclusion would be written down. But the sense of the AB and this CG over the last couple of hears has been to separate out the core rules of W3C process from the best practice guidelines, which implies they should be separate documents and CGs.

There has "always" been the "Guide" - which is explicitly about Best Practice and stuff instead of being the rules. - but start at the bottom is my suggestion for how to read it.

I’m neutral on whether to have the discussion in a new CG or this CG, but somebody needs to  be doing what Jeff suggested:

>          Identify best practices

>          Assess existing WGs and see where they are failing to implement these best practices

>          Be action oriented - in pushing WGs, their leadership, and the Team to implement these practices.


You can have discussions here where they are in scope, or in fora like chairs@<mailto:chairs@w3>, but you should check that if there is an outcome someone is prepared to do some writing, and someone can work with Coralie to get the writing / editing of the existing Guide online.



Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex<> - - - Find more at

Received on Friday, 24 April 2015 18:02:25 UTC