W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > August 2015

Re: Re-visiting how to charter WGs

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2015 18:39:53 -0400
Message-ID: <55D505B9.9060304@w3.org>
To: Wendy Seltzer <wseltzer@w3.org>, public-w3process@w3.org

On 08/19/2015 05:59 PM, Wendy Seltzer wrote:
> On 08/19/2015 05:33 PM, Harry Halpin wrote:
>> Currently, charters for new WGs are semi-shrouded in mystery. While the
>> AC is notified when chartering begins, there is no way for the community
>> itself to ask for a WG to be chartered without going through the W3C Staff.
> In practice, anyone can share a draft charter or ideas for a charter
> with team and, if they ask an AC rep, with the Advisory Committee. I'd
> also welcome better ways for us to recognize whether these ideas,
> wherever they originate, are ripe for chartering standards-track work. I
> have to raise questions with some of your implications here, however.

However, in practice the staff writes the charters and decides what can
be proposed to the AC. This is a problem if the staff is unqualified or
has an ulterior motive. 

Thus, an objective set of rules, an open process from beginning to end
(such as requiring CGs to draft a charter and submit to the AC for vote
in terms of becoming a WG), and actual data-driven analysis would be
useful (probably one that should be done in terms of numbers of users,
since open-source implementations can be a dime a dozen).

I'd like to see this discussed. If the Credentials CG's attempt to begin
a WG is not suitable, I would suggest we use another example, perhaps a
WG that should never have been formed or another CG that wants to be a
WG. I'm all ears for good examples of both success and failure.


>> While sometimes this may be a good thing as the W3C staff successfully
>> charters WG in the best interest of the Web, but in some domains the W3C
>> staff is unqualified in terms of the modern Web (such as is often the
>> case in security, such as the demand for the Credentials CG to be a WG
>> [1]) or may have some other motivational structure for starting a new
>> WG:  For example, the current process allows W3C staff to run
>> 'skunkworks' research projects as Working Groups and for WGs that
>> industry and users are not interested in (or even against) to be
>> chartered, but a small persistent group of hobbyists (that may include
>> W3C staff) are pushing for.
>> Currently we have set a higher-bar at AC voting - but would a new
>> transparent process help?
>> I'm not sure of the details, but it seems with the amount of activity in
>> CGs would provide empirical data, and there should be some objective
>> threshold involving commitment in terms of implementation and real users.
>> I would like to see this issue taken up by the CG and AB.
>> This ask by the Credentials CG to be a WG in this blog post [1] and
>> their analysis [2] is a pretty good test-case. 
> These posts were shared with us in draft form, and are not yet public if
> you don't have the direct link.
> In the case of the Credentials CG and related work, I believe we *are*
> doing a data-driven analysis, investigating the needs asserted and the
> existing technologies available, to ask where, if anywhere, the Web
> needs new standards.
> Thanks,
> --Wendy
> Without the W3C hat on, I
>> see a good case for standardizing vocabularies around health care or
>> education. I don't see much of a case here [3] for replicating the work
>> of OAuth, JOSE, FIDO, and then layering a somewhat incorrect mental
>> model of GPG with multi-origin key material (obviously a security and
>> privacy concern) on the top of the Web just because it uses RDF.
>>           yours,
>>                 harry
> [not yet public]
>> [3] http://opencreds.org/specs/source/identity-credentials/
Received on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 22:40:01 UTC

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