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

better process for fixing problems in W3C recommendations

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfpschneider@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2016 16:31:29 -0700
To: public-w3process@w3.org
Message-ID: <28e1c0fe-9fcf-334e-9e30-7492f44aebb1@gmail.com>
W3C recommendations have problems.  Unfortunately fixing these problems is
very problematic.  I suggest that W3C community groups be able, and
encouraged, to submit reports pointing out problems in relevant W3C
recommendations and providing errata for these problems.  These reports would
then be reviewed and, if approved, made into normative errata for the

This process should be restricted to cases where there is a clear problem in
the recommendation, i.e., either there is some formal error, such as illegal
structures being created or functions applied outside of their domain, or
multiple implementations differ from the recommendation.  Part of the review
process would be to ensure that there was adequate involvement of interested
parties, particularly implementors of the recommendation and members of the
working group that produced the recommendation.

Why is this a good time to establish this new process?  The W3C Data Shapes
working group is building SHACL on top of SPARQL.  Parts of SPARQL that it
heavily uses have problems.  It would be much better if a resultant
recommendation for SHACL could normatively depend on SPARQL as modified by the
fixes that have been approved by W3C instead of saying that SHACL depends on
SPARQL with some set of changes, which would in essence fork the definition of
SPARQL within W3C.  The RDF Tests Suite Curation Community Group would be a
good group to handle errata for SPARQL, although it would also be possible to
set up a new group specifically to address problems that are currently known
in the SPARQL recommendations.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Received on Thursday, 23 June 2016 23:32:01 UTC

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