Re: w3process-ISSUE-151 (Resigning from a WG): How to resign from a working group [Process Document]

TL;DR: The issue is a small one. We don't *know* when someone quits, since the process just says that will be defined one day. We should fix that, preferably by stating what actually happens in practice already.

13.01.2015, 03:45, "Wayne Carr" <>:
> On 2015-01-11 08:53, Revising W3C Process Community Group Issue Tracker
> wrote:
>>  w3process-ISSUE-151 (Resigning from a WG): How to resign from a working group [Process Document]
>>  Raised by: Charles McCathie Nevile
>>  On product: Process Document
>>  The current Process says
>>  [[[
>>  3.6 Resignation from a Group
>>  A W3C Member or Invited Expert MAY resign from a group. The Team will establish administrative procedures for resignation. See section 4.2. of the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33] for information about obligations remaining after resignation from certain groups.
>>  ]]]
>>  After a decade and a bit, we could probably do better than that. In practice people *have* resigned from Working Groups. Do we need a formal definition?
>>  It would mostly be relevant because the Patent Policy allows 60 days from the date of resignation to exclude material added between the FPWD+60 and the most recent Public Working draft - without a clear way of finding the date we could see problems identifying the last Public Working Draft, and the expiry of the 60 days.
>>  Proposed:
>>  "On written notification from an AC rep or invited expert, or equivalent action to formally leave the WG (e.g. through an automated join/leave system), the member's representatives will be deemed to have resigned from the relevant Group, effective immediately".
>>  The edge case I see is a group agreeing to a Public Working Draft, and before it is *published* a member resigns in order to avoid having a disclosure obligation relative to material in that draft.
> I think you may mean quit to avoid a licensing obligation/exclusion
> period that applies to that TR. 

D'uh. Yep.

> The disclosure requirement in section 6
> is separate and your hypothetical seems to satisfy the conditions that
> trigger it.  So, they wouldn't be avoiding disclosure.
> I don't see a real need to change the text that's already there, but if
> we do change it to say how one quits a group, it also needs to include
> quitting by not rejoining when the WG recharters. 

I don't think so - the question is "what are the mechanics of resigning" - and in particular, on what date did you resign.

> Any new text should
> also keep the link to the patent policy section on quitting WGs.


>>  One possible mitigation would be to require that the resignation is announced publicly, but I believe this is not what people have generally preferred to do in the past.
> Is there still a problem to be mitigated?

If someone can put some content into a document, propose it for Public Working Draft, and then walk away from the group, then perhaps. (The disclosure obligation *should* apply, but I am not sure how easy it is to prove that somebody didn't disclose given the nature of the obligation).

> I assume W3C keeps track of when Members (not participants, Members and
> IEs) join or quit WGs,

I presume they keep track of some date, but according to the process that date is just randomly picked and we are waiting for a formal definition of how it is chosen. 

That's the gap I would like to close, effectively by documenting current practice…

> so W3C can determine what exclusion periods there
> were for any Member and what TR they applied to.  That we don't need a
> Process change to make that possible.

Yes we do. The Process says there is no way to know such a date, nor is there a procedure to resign - although it anticipates there will be one some day. I hope that day is sooner than "another decade away".

> Whether it is public information about when Members (not participants)
> joined of left WG is public seems a different issue that doesn't depend
> on exactly how someone quits (or presumably joins)

Sure. And I am not particularly attached to the idea that we should change that.


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

Received on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 13:00:39 UTC