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Comments on Process 2016 (3 August 2016 Editor's Draft)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 17:46:08 -0500
Cc: public-w3process@w3.org
Message-Id: <04277C4E-A782-4034-AF07-CE2380944EF2@w3.org>
To: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>

I read Process 2016 (3 Aug draft [1]) and have some suggestions.
Sorry for the length; the Proc Doc is also long. :)


[1] https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/AB/raw-file/cfef536bff0d/cover.html

1 Introduction

  "the W3C equivalent of a Web standard." This struck me as odd on
  this read; equivalent to what?

  Proposed: "the W3C expression of a Web standard."

  "(e.g., Web services)". This feels like a dated example.

  Proposed: delete the parenthetical.

2.1.2 Membership Consortia and related Members

   "who have individual persons" and
   "who have organizations as Members"

   Proposed: s/who/that

=============== Advisory Committee Meetings

   "The number of Full and Affiliate W3C Members." There are new
   Membership levels, so this feels a bit off.

   Proposed: "Number and profile of W3C Members"

2.4.1 Technical Architecture Group Participation

  "Appointees are not required to be on the W3C Team." This was surely
  written long ago and doesn't really speak to actual practice. I do
  not recall a Team appointee, and I also think the Director in
  practice wants to populate the TAG with non-Team.

  Proposed: "Appointees SHOULD NOT be from the W3C Team."

2.5.3 Advisory Board and Technical Architecture Group Vacated Seats

  "the Chair asks the participant to resign." I think this is a bug.
  Because these people are elected, I don't believe this should be
  a "TAG Chair" right but rather a "Director" right.

  Proposed: "the Director removes the participant from their seat."

3.1.1 Conflict of Interest Policy

  "clearly a function of the individual's affiliations". This sounded
  more editorial than necessary.

  Proposed sentence replacement:

   "The ability of an individual to fulfill a role within a group
   without risking a conflict of interest depends significantly on the
   individual's affiliations."

4 Dissemination Policies

  "maintains a calendar [MEM3]"

  That calendar is deprecated in favor of a public calendar. That is: the
  W3C staff no longer maintains a "member only" calendar.

     - Delete MEM3 in 12.2
     - Add a new reference to the public calendar in the public
       resources and update all references from MEM3 to the new one.
       Public calendar: http://www.w3.org/participate/eventscal

5.1 Requirements for All Working and Interest Groups

  "Existing charters that are not yet public must be made public when
  next revised or extended (with attention to changing confidentiality
  level)." I believe there are no more such charters and never will be.

  Proposed: Delete the sentence.

5.2.4 Call for Participation in a Working Group or Interest Group

  "After a Call for Participation, any Member representatives and
  Invited Experts must be designated (or re-designated)."

  I believe Team practice is slightly different:

   a) If the charter involves no new Rec-track deliverables (and thus
      there are no new patent obligations), participants are informed
      of the new charter but are not required to rejoin.

      Otherwise, Members are asked to rejoin.

   b) Regarding Invited Experts, I don't exactly know what happens,
      including whether they must re-apply to participate.

   Therefore, I believe this sentence needs review.

   "If a charter includes deliverables that continue work on a

   This is the first time this concept appears in the document and it
   is introduced with no explanation. The concept is developed in
   5.2.6 (see my comments about that section). The sentence in 5.2.4
   is repeated in section 5.2.6. I think 5.2.4 can be simplified to
   just include a reference.

   Proposed: Replace

      "If a charter includes deliverables that continue work
       on a document for which a Reference Draft or Candidate
       Recommendation has previously been published (i.e there has
       been an Exclusion Opportunity per section 4.1 of the W3C Patent
       Policy [PUB33]), the Director must not issue a Call for
       Participation less than 60 days after the beginning of the
       Advisory Committee Review of the charter."


      "See section for information about a Call for
       Participation in a Working Group that has taken up a
       specification from another group."

5.2.6 Working Group and Interest Group Charters

   "Intellectual property information. What are the intellectual
   property (including patents and copyright) considerations affecting
   the success of the Group? In particular, is there any reason to
   believe that it will be difficult to meet the Royalty-Free
   licensing goals of section 2 of the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33]?"

   This text is disconnected from reality. Our charters include
   boilerplate text about the Patent Policy and, on occasion,
   document licensing information. I believe the questions quoted
   above, while they may be considered while discussing the work,
   never result information actually included in the charter (which
   is what this bullet list is about).

   Proposed: Replace the bullet with:

    * Intellectual property information. Include information about
      the governing patent policy and document license.

   The new text about a group that takes up work from another
   group is introduced without explanation. It is also sufficiently
   long that it deserves its own subsection.


     - Create a new subsection with title:
         "When a Working Group takes up a Specification Initiated Under Another Charter"

     - The section should start with "For every Recommendation Track
      deliverable...." and end with "The Director must not issue a
      call for participation less than 60 days..."

     - The section should be moved to the bottom of 5.2.6. That means
       that the text "See also the charter requirements of section 2
       and section 3 of the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33]." would be
       followed immediately by "An Interest Group charter may include
       provisions regarding participation,..." and the rest of the
       text of section 5.2.6. Then insert

     - The following are editorial suggestions for the text of the

       * Start by explaining what this section covers. Proposed:

        "From time to time, a W3C Working Group takes up work that
	 was initiated but not completed by another Working Group.
	 This section of the process document describes how W3C
	 ensures that the hand-off occurs in a manner consistent
	 with the W3C Patent Policy, and with minimal disruption
	 to the work."

        * "For every Recommendation Track deliverable that continues
          work". I find it awkward to speak of a deliverable
	  continuing work. Proposed:

           When the Director proposes that a Working Group take up a
	   Recommendation Track deliverable initially published under
	   any other Charter (including a predecessor group of the
	   same name) the charter MUST include the following
	   information for each deliverable:

              - The title, stable URL, and publication date of any
                Adopted Working Draft that will serve as the basis
                for work on the deliverable

              - The title, stable URL, and publication date of the
                most recent Reference Draft or Candidate
                Recommendation that triggered an Exclusion
                Opportunity per the Patent Process

              - The stable URL of the Working Group charter under
                which the most recent Reference Draft or Candidate
                Recommendation was published.

6.1.2 Maturity Levels

   "Rescinded Recommendation" is defined but "Obsoleted
   Recommendation" is not. Meanwhile, 6.9 includes a definition of
   Rescinded Recommendation that may not align exactly with what is
   written here.

   Proposed: 6.1.2 include definitions for both terms, with enough
   explanation so one can see here how they differ. That may reduce
   what needs to be said in 6.9. I'm happy to provide a suggestion
   if you'd like.

6.2 General requirements and definitions

   "Please note that publishing as used in this document refers to
   producing a version which is listed as a W3C Technical Report on
   its Technical Reports page https://www.w3.org/TR [PUB11]."

   That sentence is a repeat of the first sentence in 6.1.

   Proposed: Delete the sentence in 6.2.

6.2.1 General requirements for Technical Reports

   "An editor must be a participant, as a Member representative, Team
   representative, or Invited Expert". I'm not sure of the value
   of spelling out the types of participant.

   Proposed: "An editor must be a participant (see section 5.2.1) in
   the Group responsible for the document(s) being edited."

6.2.5 Classes of Changes

   s/Examples of changes in this class are/Examples of changes in this class include:/

   s/such changes do not belong to this class../such changes do not fall into this class./

   For the second edit note that:
       - the first sentence of bullet 2 uses the phrase "fall into this class"
         which I suggest repeating here.
       - double period => single period

6.6 W3C Recommendation

   "The decision to advance a document to Recommendation is a W3C
   Decision." This sentence is the only one of its kind in the document.
   Section 7 defines W3C decision:

     "A W3C decision is one where the Director (or the Director's
     delegate) has exercised the role of assessing consensus after an
     Advisory Committee review."

   And if you follow the link to AC review you see a list of things:

    * new and modified Working and Interest Groups,
    * Proposed Recommendations, Proposed Edited Recommendations, Proposal to Rescind a Recommendation, and
    * Proposed changes to the W3C process.

   None of the other corresponding sections of the document have an
   outright statement that "this is a W3C decision" other than 6.6.

   Proposed: Delete "The decision to advance a document to
   Recommendation is a W3C Decision." as redundant.

6.7.2 Revising a Recommendation

   "Such publications may be called a Proposed Edited Recommendation."

   I am not aware that we call them anything else. Furthermore, I think
   it would create confusion if we called the same thing by different
   names, especially after a tradition of calling them PERs.

   Proposed: Change to:

     "Such publications are called Proposed Edited Recommendations."

6.8 Publishing a Working Group or Interest Group Note

  "Working Groups and Interest Groups publish material that is not a
  formal specification as Notes. ... as well as specifications ..."

  This paragraph includes mildly self-contradictory statements.

  Proposed: Change the paragraph (with new bulleted list) to:

    "Working Groups and Interest Groups MAY publish Notes for a
     variety of reasons, including:

       * supporting documentation for a specification such as
         explanations of design principles or use cases and requirements,
       * non-normative guides to good practices, and
       * specifications where work has been stopped and there is no
         longer consensus for publishing them as Recommendations."

  "may remain a Working Group Note indefinitely"

  This section is about both WG and IG Notes.

  Proposed: Delete "Working Group"

6.9 Obsoleting or Rescinding a W3C Recommendation

  I think some of the terminology could be simplified.

  * I suggest using the word "Restore" when referring to undoing
    a previous decision to rescind or obsolete a Rec.
  * I suggest avoiding "obsoletion" and "rescindment"; see
    concrete suggestions below.

  "W3C may rescind a Recommendation, for example ..."
  "W3C may obsolete a Recommendation, for example "

  Please start with an introductory sentence to frame the


   "From time to time, W3C may find it necessary to undo a
    Recommendation. W3C uses a similar process but different
    terminology to distinguish the severity of new advice

    - "Rescinded Recommendation": W3C no longer recommends
     this technology and is extremely unlikely to restore it.

    - "Obsoleted Recommendation": W3C no longer recommends
     this technology but there is a reasonable chance W3C
     could restore it.

   W3C might rescind a Recommendation when:

    * W3C concludes it contains many errors that conflict with a later
      version, or
    * W3C discovers burdensome patent claims that affect implementers
      and cannot be resolved; see the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33] and
      in particular section 5 (bullet 10) and section 7.5.

   W3C might obsolete a Recommendation when:

    * W3C concludes it no longer represents best practices, or
    * Industry has not adopted the technology and future
      adoption seems unlikely."

   Proposed: Change

         "Obsoletion may be reversed, using the same process as for
          obsoleting a Recommendation, if for example a specification
          is later more broadly adopted."


          "W3C uses the same process for obsoleting or restoring a

      Note that you don't need to talk about the scenario since that's
      already listed earlier.

   Proposed: Change

          "The Director must begin a review of a proposal to obsolete,
          un-obsolete or rescind a Recommendation when requested to do
          so by any of the following:"


          "The Director MUST begin a review of a proposal to obsolete,
	  rescind, or restore a Recommendation when requested to do so
	  by any of the following:"

   Proposed: Change

         "Any individual who made a request to the relevant Working
         Group as described above, or the TAG if such a group does not
         exist, to consider a Recommendation for obsoletion or
         rescindment, whose request was not answered within 90 days"


         "Any individual who made a request to the relevant Working
         Group as described above, or to the TAG if no such group
         exists, to obsolete or rescind a Recommendation,
         whose request was not answered within 90 days"

   Proposed: Change

         "indicate that this is a proposal to Rescind, Obsolete, or
         reverse the Obsoletion of, a Recommendation"


         "indicate that this is a proposal to Rescind, Obsolete, or
         Restore a Recommendation"

   Proposed: Change

        "For any review of a proposal to obsolete or rescind a
        Recommendation the Director must:"


        "For any review of a proposal to obsolete, rescind, or
        restore a Recommendation the Director must:"

   Proposed: Change

         "publish a rationale for rescinding the Recommendation."


         "publish rationale for the proposal"

      (Since this process could be about obsolete and restore, too)

  It should be possible for the Director restore a Rescinded
  Recommendation. We cannot predict the future. Suppose the
  Director rescinded a Recommendation because of a patent issue
  but then that patent is invalidated. We might want to restore
  the Recommendation. The Patent Policy says:

    "If the Recommendation is rescinded by W3C, then no new licenses
    need be granted but any licenses granted before the Recommendation
    was rescinded shall remain in effect."

  I believe that allows room to restore a Rescinded Recommendation
  and get new licenses.

   Proposed: Change

         "Note: the original Recommendation document will continue to
         be available at its version-specific URL."


         "Note: W3C strives to ensure that any
	 Recommendation -- even obsoleted or rescinded --
         remains available at its original address with
	 a status update."

     (Notes: I've modified the text for consistency with similar text
      in 6.2.1. The concept of "version-specific URL" is not defined
      in the Process Document. Also, I think we should make
      clear that we do intend to provide a status update.)

7.1.1 Start of a Review Period

   "review form"

   This feels like an implementation detail to me.

   Proposed: s/The review form/The Call for Review/

8 Workshops and Symposia

   According to the archives of W3C Workshops:

   There has been exactly one event in 21 years with the word
   "Symposium" in the title.

   The Process Document does not indicate any material difference
   between the two.

      * Remove the concept of Symposium from the Process Document

   Note that nothing prevents someone from organizing a W3C
   Workshop with "Symposium" in the title.

12.1 Public Resources

   * PUB25: The link is 404. Should be:

12.2 Member-only Resources

   * MEM3: See earlier comment; this has been deprecated
   * MEM4: Now called "Process, Patent Policy, Finances Guide"
           Meanwhile, there is a different resource called
           "Member Intro and FAQ" https://www.w3.org/Member/faq.html
	   Perhaps MEM4 should be updated to point there (with the
	   current title)
   * MEM9: This resource is now public and should be moved up to 12.1


 * I expected to see mention of the Code of Ethics and Professional
   Conduct: https://www.w3.org/Consortium/cepc/

   One place to include it: 3.1 Individual Participation Criteria.

 * Minor editorial:

   6.1: s/member review/Member review
   6.1.2: s/as per/per
   6.1.2: s/review which begins/review that begins/
   6.7.1: s/Working groups may/Working Groups may/

Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>      http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                       +1 718 260 9447

Received on Friday, 5 August 2016 22:48:05 UTC

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