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Re: Followup to "Supergroups" message to AC Forum

From: Carine Bournez <carine@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2016 07:20:24 +0000
To: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Cc: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, Revising W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20160621072024.GM29642@people.w3.org>

Hi Florian, all,

On Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 10:51:41AM +0900, Florian Rivoal wrote:
> The problem is that a WG isn't a self-contained team with a boss that can
> make people stick to the plan. Member companies prioritize things
> however they want regardless of what the charter says, and depending
> on the company, individuals also have quite a bit of latitude in how they
> prioritize things. Yes, discussing priorities may bring some ammount of
> alignment within the group, but if someone's priorities shift (or were never
> aligned in the first place), there's not much the chairs can do to force
> people to work according to the group's documented priorities.

That is more or less why spec ETAs defined in charters are never accurate.
(bad estimation of spec time in the first place, going back to refine spec,
getting implementations right, and testing). WGs are consulted in the 
chartering process so as to get a sense of their priorities, but the charter
duration is longer than priorities stability. If we make shorter charters, 
the burden of rewriting charter increases, if we make them longer, we get
even more inaccurate timelines. So I would advocate for external timeline 
data that can be updated during the charter lifetime.

> 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. That's a bit 
puzzling that (some, too many?) members don't value testing as a group
effort. Test suites can be so valuable for them when done correctly...

Carine Bournez /// W3C Europe
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 07:20:30 UTC

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