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Re: WICG Incubation vs CSSWG Process

From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 16:41:25 -0500
To: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Cc: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <eddd28fb-3c08-d010-59dd-ee08c3091d8f@w3.org>

On 12/27/2016 4:29 PM, Michael Champion wrote:
> Jeff, you make fair points, and I admit it’s probably not productive to point to my favorite philosophical ratholes about whether a 2015-charter WG is the “same” as the 2017-charter WG with the same name, and whether W3M equals “the Director” as far as the process is concerned.  But I do see some interesting issues that might be clarified in a future version of the Process Document:
> - Should the process say anything about how formal objections to a charter are resolved, beyond assigning the resolution job to The Director?
> - What if there is no pre-existing WG to consult with?  For example, if an IG or CG proposes a charter that gets formal objections, for example because the relevant standards supposedly exist and W3C would be just adding confusion.  It’s not obvious that the proponents of a new WG should have a lot of say in the resolution of objections to their proposal.

We do have some recent use cases.

The Web Payments IG worked with the Team to propose a WG Charter. The 
Charter had some formal objections.  The Team worked with the IG and the 
objectors to produce a new Charter that I believe everyone agrees was an 

The Web of Things IG worked the Team to propose a WG Charter.  The 
Charter had some formal objections.  The Team worked with the IG and the 
objectors to produce a new Charter.  We just announced the Charter and 
I'm hopeful that this will also be seen as an improvement.

The Web Payments IG worked with the Team to propose a Verifiable Claims 
Charter.  That is still under AC review - so we don't yet have data.

> - Given that The Director is increasingly a collectivity rather than an individual, should W3C members have more transparency into W3M’s deliberations, consultations, and negotiations about the resolution of formal objections?
> - Does it make sense – as I believe Daniel Glazman in particular has suggested in these threads – to evolve to a more “meritocratic” decision making mechanism where the AB and/or TAG have an explicit role in resolving objections, or at least having more visibility into W3M’s handling of them?
> I don’t advocate any particular solution here, I just see a series of problems that stem from different understandings of how objections are and should be resolved.

I agree that it would be helpful for the Process CG to propose means to 
increase transparency.  I would caution that we do it in a way which is 
not overly bureaucratic.  Other groups that write web standards have 
pointed to the whole AC review process as something that reduces our 
agility.  I don't agree with those other groups - but I would not want 
to needlessly add bureaucracy.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: "jeff@w3.org" <jeff@w3.org>
> Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 12:58 PM
> To: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
> Cc: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: WICG Incubation vs CSSWG Process
>      On 12/27/2016 3:42 PM, Michael Champion wrote:
>      > The W3C Process makes clear that issues are ultimately resolved by the Director’s “fiat”, and at least in practice “The Director” equates to “W3M” for all but the thorniest issues.  Also, the process makes clear that the Director+AC grants charters to WGs, the WG’s don’t even exist until they have an approved charter.  So it’s not clear how the current process would allow WGs to review their charters.  Arguably the community of stakeholders for a set of specs, which usually more or less equates to the members of previous WGs that drafted those specs, should have an explicit role in reviewing W3M/Director resolution of objections to a charter, and that seems like an appropriate topic for the Process CG.
>      Mike, although you say "WG's don't even exist until they have an
>      approved charter" - in practice - especially with "Supergroups" - they do.
>      Almost everyone would agree that for all practical purposes the working
>      group we had in 2015 called CSS should have a lot of say in the new
>      charter that the group called CSS should have in 2017.
>      Indeed that is the practice of the Team.  When creating "the next
>      charter" for a Supergroup we almost always consult extensively with the
>      WG.  Practices vary because different WGs want to interact at different
>      levels.  Sometimes the WG itself drafts the Charter - even has a CFC -
>      as with the current proposed WCAG recharter.  Sometimes the Team drafts
>      the Charter and may share it with the WGs.  Some WGs delegate that to
>      Chairs.  Often it is a collaborative effort.
>      When there are Objections, W3M's practice is to go back to the relevant
>      group as it tries to find consensus.  Some (like Chaals) want that
>      formalized a bit more.  W3M will not approve a Charter if it believes
>      that changes would have changed people's review.  The Director does not
>      decide by "fiat" in most cases.  (There are unusual cases where there is
>      no consensus - and at those times the Director might decide by fiat.)
>      That's not what happened when we produced a Charter which said CSS
>      incubation was permitted in WICG. In that case, W3M (apparently
>      incorrectly) was of the opinion that permitting incubation in the WICG
>      would not change anyone's review.
>      >    Alternatively, maybe the AB, TAG, and/or AC – presumably in an accelerated review, not the ponderous 30-day WBS ballot mechanism – should have a role in reviewing W3M’s resolution.
Received on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 21:41:36 UTC

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