W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > December 2016

Re: WICG Incubation vs CSSWG Process

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2016 22:14:19 +0800
Cc: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DC4B6A02-0629-496C-944B-DD6E0A55BD23@rivoal.net>
To: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>

> On Dec 26, 2016, at 04:07, Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com> wrote:
> Jeff wrote:
>>   Well stated.  Thank you.
> Yes, thanks for the very detailed explanation! 
> A couple of points:
>> You're right that this is "enforced" mostly as a cultural norm,
>> whereas CGs have something more up-front. But that's a legal
>> side-effect of how the W3C has set things up, and not, imho, a
>> a fundamental consideration of process. If it's an issue, W3C
>> should address it for all WGs, as it's not specific to CSS.
> Yes, IMHO we should address the lack of patent promises in WGs for work that doesn’t get to FWPD

Although this is a real hole in theory, I don't know how critical this is practice: Either a spec is a bad idea that gets abandoned, in which case patent protection doesn't matter very much, or it is a good one, and provided the process is still at least vaguely functional, the spec should reach FPWD.

That said, I think we could without probably without much push back from anyone extend the GC's IP policy and patent commitments to also apply to EDs that have not yet made it to TR, and solve much of that issues.

> and binding commitments for work that doesn’t get to Recommendation.

That part I am less sure how to tackle. Given the high number of specs that seem to progress until CR but not really beyond, this could be very useful... or maybe harmful instead if it removed a key incentive for actually trying to reach REC.

> Likewise it would be good to figure out how the W3C WG process or the CSS culture could be tweaked to ensure that the w3.org/TR page doesn’t remain littered with supposed Rec-track specs that aren’t going anywhere because proponents lost interest, don’t solve a real world problem, or nobody plans to implement them.

I believe the CSSWG has been reasonably able (albeit slow) to turn specs into notes (sometimes "gutted notes" with only a section status and a link to the previous version) when ideas turn out to be bad, no longer consistent with the rest of the platform, etc. Probably less good at burying things that still look like a good idea/good design to everybody except nobody is prioritizing it.

It is also somewhat hard to tell apart things that are low priority but people want to do eventually and are happy to find a well ironed spec when they get there, from things that nobody wants to do ever even though it sounded like a good idea when initially proposed.

Maybe we need to deprecate things more aggressively. Maybe that as long as we deprecate bad ideas, it is ok for specs of sane ideas without traction to languish for an indeterminate while. I don't have a simple answer on how to do this triage, but I agree it would be good to figure this out. 

Received on Monday, 26 December 2016 14:14:47 UTC

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