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Re: Working group voting procedures in Process 2018

From: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:50:53 +0200
To: "David Singer" <singer@mac.com>
Cc: "David Wood" <david.wood@ephox.com>, "Harald Alvestrand" <hta@google.com>, "Jeff Jaffe" <jeff@w3.org>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>, "W3C AC-Forum" <w3c-ac-forum@w3.org>, "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, "ab@w3.org" <ab@w3.org>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.y8rya3c5ftbnq3@desktop-kurf4r9.home>
On Fri, 27 Oct 2017 09:36:41 +0200, David Singer <singer@mac.com> wrote:

> Can I confirm that I think we’re settling on?

As noted, I prefer one person one vote for technical decisions, but I can  
readily live with one member one vote. The rest is in there already, as I  
read it, and I am happy with it.

cheers

> If it’s a formal vote on a technical subject, then it’s one vote per  
> member organization.  (And if it’s controversial, expect FOs, because we  
> shouldn’t be making technical decisions based on majority voting, but on  
> consensus and/or technical merit.)
>
> If it’s a straw poll, then the chair can decide who gets to participate  
> and what the tallying system is (e.g. “this vote is restricted to people  
> who have registered to attend the next f2f”).
>
>> On Oct 25, 2017, at 18:06 , Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>  
>> wrote:
>>
>> TL;DR: There are arguments for both kinds of default. I find the 1 vote  
>> per participant more compelling, and otherwise we need to work out how  
>> participants other than member organisations vote. But I can live with  
>> either default, and think voting on it would be a reasonable way to  
>> resolve the issue.
>>
>> On Wed, 25 Oct 2017 03:51:00 +0200, David Wood <david.wood@ephox.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 24 October 2017 at 05:52, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>  
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> From my perspective it is true that some organisation might try to  
>>>> fill the group to win a vote. In the unlikely event that an important  
>>>> issue really got determined this way and left people unhappy at the  
>>>> outcome, I would expect a formal objection. I expect part of the  
>>>> director's analysis of such an objection to include looking at any  
>>>> such attempt at "distorting the outcome" with about as much contempt  
>>>> as the particular case merits.
>>>
>>> Chaals calls this scenario "unlikely". Is it really?
>>>
>>> It might be worth noting that I recently (in the last two years)  
>>> attended a meeting where the CSS working group had a majority of  
>>> voting members attending from a single organisation. A quick check of  
>>> the membership of that group [1] yields:
>>>
>>> Google: 19 participants
>>> Microsoft: 11 participants
>>> Apple: 11 participants
>>> Mozilla: 8 participants
>>>
>>> Without making any attempt whatsoever to infer whether those numbers  
>>> are a good idea (they might be for such a core WG), it is certainly an  
>>> existence proof that WGs can end up with a small number of  
>>> organisations dominating the active participation.
>>
>> Indeed. Especially for large groups working on a lot of stuff that is  
>> more about boring plumbing than exciting shiny stuff (WebPlatform, CSS,  
>> anything where one organisation is effectively leading the  
>> implementation efforts...).
>>
>> In such situations, some members' representatives say "I cannot speak  
>> definitively for My Employer, but it seems to me that...", while others  
>> say "our membership position is X". There are a lot of real examples of  
>> both, in practice. In the former case, it seems more useful to get  
>> individual [perspectives - in part because they are likely to come with  
>> clear arguments from various perspectives, whereas going with one vote  
>> per member we can expect a lot of the valuable discussion to be  
>> internal to the organisation trying to decide how to vote.
>>
>> If the issue is contentious enough to generate a formal objection, then  
>> having an archive of the discussion is likely to help the Director  
>> better understand the issues and reach a better decision faster. IMHO.
>>
>> On Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:31:54 +0200, Harald Alvestrand <hta@google.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> It's obvious for both "one person one vote" and "one company one vote"  
>>> how to stack the vote - in >one case, bring 100 of your closest  
>>> friends to the meeting; in the other case, tell every company >and  
>>> organization you work with to join up and send a representative. Both  
>>> have happened in >standards organizations we've worked with.
>>>
>>> The difference is that stacking the vote by adding companies:
>>> a) takes longer
>>> b) costs more - with some of that being money that ends up in the  
>>> W3C's coffers
>>> c) is harder to hide (because it takes longer).
>>>
>>> If we have to have voting on issues that are important (and I think we  
>>> have to), I'd prefer the >option that makes vote-stacking take longer  
>>> and be more expensive for the stacker.
>>
>> This is the best rationale I have heard for defaulting to 1 vote per  
>> member.
>>
>> However, the reality is that W3C is also trying to encourage  
>> participation
>> by people who are not in a position to join, meaning many groups get  
>> some
>> invited experts. That leads to an asymmetry.
>>
>> I don't think there is an ideal default, and I would thus be prepared to
>> let this particular question be resolved by vote. (Should that be by
>> organisation or individual?)
>>
>> I would like to see a clear explanation of how Invited Expert votes are  
>> counted in such a situation, and what, if anything, to do with input  
>> from public contributors who are not members of the working group.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Chaals
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 3:51 AM, David Wood <david.wood@ephox.com>  
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>>
>>>> On 24 October 2017 at 05:52, Chaals McCathie Nevile  
>>>> <chaals@yandex.ru> wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:49:14 +0200, L. David Baron  
>>>>> <dbaron@dbaron.org> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'm curious about the rationale behind one of the changes within
>>>>>>
>>>>>> #24, which covers voting *in working groups* (which is described in
>>>>>>
>>>>>> both the new and old process as a rare procedure that should only be
>>>>>>
>>>>>> used when consensus cannot be reached).
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In the current process, votes in a working group MUST be taken
>>>>>>
>>>>>> per-organization (or group of related members).  In the revised
>>>>>>
>>>>>> process, the default voting process (which can be overridden by
>>>>>>
>>>>>> charters) is that votes in a working group default to one vote per
>>>>>>
>>>>>> participant.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> This change seems to introduce the risk that, if a working group is
>>>>>>
>>>>>> facing issues contentious enough to lead to a vote, it allows
>>>>>>
>>>>>> organizations to add new members to the group in order to change the
>>>>>>
>>>>>> results.  This seems undesirable to me.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> From my perspective it is true that some organisation might try to  
>>>>>> fill the group to win a >>>vote. In the unlikely event that an  
>>>>>> important issue really got determined this way and left >>>people  
>>>>>> unhappy at the outcome, I would expect a formal objection. I expect  
>>>>>> part of the >>>director's analysis of such an objection to include  
>>>>>> looking at any such attempt at "distorting >>>the outcome" with  
>>>>>> about as much contempt as the particular case merits.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Chaals calls this scenario "unlikely". Is it really?
>>>>
>>>> It might be worth noting that I recently (in the last two years)  
>>>> attended a meeting where the CSS >>working group had a majority of  
>>>> voting members attending from a single organisation. A quick check  
>>>> >>of the membership of that group [1] yields:
>>>>
>>>> Google: 19 participants
>>>> Microsoft: 11 participants
>>>> Apple: 11 participants
>>>> Mozilla: 8 participants
>>>>
>>>> Without making any attempt whatsoever to infer whether those numbers  
>>>> are a good idea (they might >>be for such a core WG), it is certainly  
>>>> an existence proof that WGs can end up with a small number >>of  
>>>> organisations dominating the active participation.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Dave
>>>>
>>>> [1] https://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/members
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Voting is a suboptimal approach for most important decisions anyway.  
>>>>> It is potentially useful to >>>stop a bikeshed discussion (not  
>>>>> because it gets a good answer, but because there isn't one  
>>>>> >>>apparent and it stops the time being sucked into different ways  
>>>>> to make a bad decision...).
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> An alternative perspective is the old HTML Working Group, which had  
>>>>> far more invited experts - >>>each given one vote - than  
>>>>> organisational members who were thus a small minority in any  
>>>>> official >>>vote. While I hope that was an historic anomaly, in a  
>>>>> group where one large organisation has 4 >>>times as many people as  
>>>>> anyone else doing 75% of the work, while I suspect there will be  
>>>>> other >>>problems it seems reasonable to let them have more than 1  
>>>>> vote, in the broken case that this is >>>the only way forward on an  
>>>>> issue.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> So yes, there is a power shift in the "default" model. Between  
>>>>> Arrow's theorem, a sense that >>>very many questions are badly put  
>>>>> to vote in my experience, and the sense that this is already a  
>>>>> >>>case that should have been avoided, I'm not terribly concerned at  
>>>>> what the default looks like >>>because I think it represents an  
>>>>> attempt to save discussion on an issue rather than a soundly  
>>>>> >>>justifiable basis for claiming the answer is *right*.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> cheers
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Chaals
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> (I'm coming to this from the perspective of a member of the CSS
>>>>>>
>>>>>> working group, which officially has 19 participants from Google, 11
>>>>>>
>>>>>> from Apple, 11 from Microsoft, 8 from Mozilla, 6 from Vivliostyle, 5
>>>>>>
>>>>>> from Adobe, 5 from BPS, etc., but has also never held a vote.  But
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'm under the impression that there have been a small number of
>>>>>>
>>>>>> working groups where voting was used a good bit.)
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -David
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Wednesday 2017-09-27 20:36 -0400, Jeff Jaffe wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Dear AC representative, WG Chair, or member of the public,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The W3C Advisory Board is forwarding a proposed Process 2018 draft  
>>>>>>> [1] to the Advisory >>>>>Committee for consideration and comment.  
>>>>>>> The plan is that, based on the received comments, a >>>>>revised  
>>>>>>> draft will be sent to the Advisory Committee for formal Review  
>>>>>>> prior to the November >>>>>TPAC meeting and that there will be  
>>>>>>> time for questions and comments on the proposed Review  
>>>>>>> >>>>>document at the TPAC meeting.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> [1]https://w3c.github.io/w3process/
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The major changes in this document and their rationale, with links  
>>>>>>> to the current process and >>>>>a diff from it, are provided in a  
>>>>>>> backgrounder [2].
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> [2]https://www.w3.org/wiki/Process2018
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We call special attention to issue #5 - designed to increase  
>>>>>>> agility for errata management >>>>>moving us closer to a living  
>>>>>>> standard model and issue #52 which updates participation and  
>>>>>>> >>>>>election rules for the TAG.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Please send comments as soon as possible (to facilitate response  
>>>>>>> preparation) and prior to >>>>>October 26th (a 4 week comment  
>>>>>>> period).  Specific comments on the text are best filed as  
>>>>>>> >>>>>Github issues or even pull requests at the Process CG github  
>>>>>>> site<https://github.com/w3c/>>>>>w3process/issues>.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> More general discussion and comments should be sent  
>>>>>>> topublic-w3process@w3.org  (Mailing list >>>>>archive, publicly  
>>>>>>> available) or toprocess-issues@w3.org  (Member-only archive).  You  
>>>>>>> may >>>>>discuss your comments on any other list, such  
>>>>>>> asw3c-ac-forum@w3.org, as long as you send the >>>>>comments to  
>>>>>>> one of the W3process lists above and copy that list in the  
>>>>>>> discussion.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Jeff Jaffe, Chair, W3C Advisory Board
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Charles McCathie Nevile, Editor, W3C Process Document
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> David Singer, Chair, W3C Process Document Task Force
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Chaals is Charles McCathie Nevile
>>>>>
>>>>> find more at http://yandex.com
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Chaals is Charles McCathie Nevile
>> find more at http://yandex.com
>
> David Singer
>
> singer@mac.com
>


-- 
Chaals is Charles McCathie Nevile
find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Friday, 27 October 2017 15:51:26 UTC

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