Re: Thoughts on culture -esp. chairs and versions Re: " W3C Culture" CG? RE: Problems I'd like to see addressed in Process 2016

30.04.2015, 09:14, "Daniel Glazman" <>:
> On 29/04/15 21:04, wrote:
>>>  - chairs need to lead much more strongly and, for example, drop issues
>>>  if work is not being done or debated endlessly, because obviously it
>>>  is not important enough to obtain a result
> That's not as simple as that "chairs need to...". And there is nothing
> like one W3C culture here: each WG has its own work style and habits,


> After all, this is an industrial Consortium driven by member consensus,
> and if the Members of a given WG want, by consensus, to spend time on
> something we Chairs consider worthless at that point, there is not a lot
> we can do to stop it.


> Yes, we drive the agenda, try to orient work towards realistic goals
> and timeframes. But there is not much we can do if the Membership
> disagrees.

Yes - and nor should you, IMHO.

>>  Chairing a group at W3C should be an honour people strive to be good
>>  enough to earn, and be based on chairing ability, rather than belonging
>>  to the right industry sector, technical ability in the particular field
>>  which is as often a distraction from chairing as it is a help, or the
>>  like. But to get there from here we have to take a pretty robust
>>  approach to assessing, educating and as needed replacing our chairs.
> I strongly disagree, please let me explain why: chairing is not a
> honour, it's a duty and a burden and we _all_ know it.

I don't disagree that it is important *work* and needs to be treated as such…

> It's not on Chairs' shoulders to consider it an honour, it's W3C's task to show
> other people it's an special role with responsibilities, that's a big
> difference. I don't want Chairs who feel "superior" because of an
> honour,


> and that's a far too big risk in your prose above. As I said
> above, I feel I'm only the oil drop lubricating a complex engine.
> I have some responsibilities, and even some representativity,
> but I would feel really bad if I was taking this as an honour because it
> would be the first sign of abuse. We chairs are not productive,
> Standards-wise; we only help the productive people, the Membership.
> That's why I say it's not an honour but a duty.

I don't disagree with you analysis. Nevertheless, the best of W3C culture is actually extremely productive and valuable. I would hope that we strive to keep it that way, and improve where we need it. A natural result is that being one of the cogs making the work happen will "look good".

Which as you note increases the risk that people want the job for their CV, and in turn the obligation to keep monitoring and maintaining the quality. On the plus side, it only matters if we are indeed doing a great job… :)

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

Received on Thursday, 30 April 2015 08:17:23 UTC