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Re: Chartering work

From: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2015 12:50:24 -0700
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Cc: Revising W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <55E75300.2090504@linux.intel.com>

On 2015-09-02 04:19, Jeff Jaffe wrote:
> On 9/2/2015 2:01 AM, Mark Nottingham wrote:
>>> 1. It's already defacto standard.
>>> >2. Several interoperable implementations already exist and have 
>>> majority market penetration.
>>> >3. Several interoperable implementations already exist, although 
>>> there are many incompatible solutions as well.
>> 3.5 There's an implementation of 3.6
>> 3.6 There's a proposed starting point (e.g., straw-man specification) 
>> for the work that can be referenced by the charter
>> 3.7 The crisp technical problem has been segmented into specific 
>> deliverables and bounded by chartered requirements
>>> >4. We agree on a crisp technical problem.
>>> >5. We agree on a broad area of work which requires attention.
>>> >
>>> >I would be interested in where you would draw the line of starting 
>>> a new Working Group.  My own intuition is that it would depend on a 
>>> whole bunch of factors, and would be different for each WG.
>> My experience is that 3.6-3.7 is the minimum bar for viability; if 
>> people can't be bothered to write a spec and agree upon it as a 
>> starting point, you've got a group of people interested in a problem, 
>> nothing more. Giving them a WG is a recipe for a disaster that many 
>> of us have lived through, several times.
>> All I'm really asking for for Web Payments is 3.7, but it seems to be 
>> having trouble conforming to "broad" in 5,
> I think that your criteria 3-5-3.7 are all very sensible and setting a 
> target of 3.7 is desirable as well.  I like how you think about this.  
> Clearly we are bootstrapping a new area of work for W3C, and probably 
> the area where we disagree is what are the right steps to bootstrap 
> the new work.  So keep after us and let's work together to continue to 
> crisp up the work.

3.7 could be interpreted to mean you know deliverables (typical line or 
two describing each), but may not have any idea how to define those or 
how they fit together if multiple deliverables jointly solve a 
problem.   Many approved charters could be said to meet that type of 
interpretation of 3.7 now and I think that's what is driving the push to 
move toward requiring a straw man spec (3.6) before moving work to a 
WG.  But, something in between those may be what's needed.

3.7* could be that if multiple deliverables make up a solution, you have 
a strawman architecture for how they fit together and for each 
deliverable you have a strawman outline for a possible approach and a 
description of how to solve any serious problems.  That isn't at the 
level of a CG spec, but could be clear it is ready for standardization 
without the detail of a CG spec.

But, for some new work, other factors may be a reason for a WG instead 
as an exception.  In that case, the Charter should be clear it is 
exploring.  It could list some specific technical questions it wants to 
try to solve and maybe create REC track specs on those narrow areas (and 
merge them into a later spec) or possible no specs at all.  Broad, vague 
deliverables are not a good match for W3C's patent policy.

Longer term, W3C could consider an alternative type of WG that does not 
create Recommendations, but instead puts out something else under a CG 
contribution only style patent policy for (exceptional) broad 
exploratory type groups where incubation with more direct W3C control is 

Received on Wednesday, 2 September 2015 19:51:16 UTC

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