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Re: Followup to "Supergroups" message to AC Forum

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 18:31:25 +0900
Cc: Carine Bournez <carine@w3.org>, Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, Revising W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-Id: <717C0975-15DB-4BFA-B093-56282D201C2F@rivoal.net>
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>

> On Jun 21, 2016, at 22:59, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:
> 
> Of course things change and W3C has never been so rigid to blow up a WG just because priorities changed.  But when they change, the existence of chartered deliverables (and a conversation that led to them) allows an explicit discussion.  "Oh, we are missing the plan we all agreed to.  Why? - Our prioritized changed; let's document our new priorities.  Our priorities didn't change but the work slipped; let's redouble our efforts."

The problem is when the conclusion sounds something like “Our priorities didn't change but the work slipped; let's redouble **someone else's** efforts."

The majority of the *individuals* in the WG do not feel like writing tests falls on them. Now sure, these individuals beleong to member companies, and it is up to member companies to write tests, but if they haven't assigned people to it, asking the people who're not assigned to do it when they think it is going to be done is not productive.

If when it is the implementations that are lagging, the problem is even more pronounced.

>>> [...]
>>>> The problem with testing is not merely that it is difficult to estimate. It
>>>> is (at least in the WGs/CGs I am familiar with) woefully understaffed
>>>> when compared to the spec-writing side. WG chairs have some ability to
>>>> make their WG more or less tester friendly, but they cannot effectively
>>>> designate volunteers and force the work to happen. Unless member companies
>>>> commit to have people spend time on test, charter ETA estimation often
>>>> boils down to "Should we pretend somebody is writing/reviewing tests for
>>>> this spec, even though currently no-one is?"
>>> That's a member priorities issue, not a W3C process issue.
>> Sure, but we cannot have a realistic ETA for specs unless we figure out the resource assignment. so the member priorities issue is a dependency for the W3C process issue, and that's what makes it broken.
> 
> Testing plans should be discussed when creating the Charter.  That is one of the benefits of the Chartering process, members have an opportunity to plan collectively what tests they are willing to do and what can get done.

People who do the charter work are typically individual participants of the WG, not AC reps or people with the ability to assign resources. Such people can evaluate their own commitment, but they are not in a good position to comment on the tasks they know need to be done but are not up their personal alley.

We currently are encouraged to put dates that assume that the necessary resources will somehow appear, so by the time the charter gets to AC review, and sense of understaffing has already been brushed under the rug.

Should we have a two step process instead, where a draft charter that only assumes the current resources and where it is ok to highlight specs that are stuck due to lack of resources is submitted to the AC, and if the AC finds that insufficient, they can propose to assign more people to do the bits that need doing.

 - Florian
Received on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 09:31:51 UTC

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