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Points of order on this WG

From: Nikunj R. Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 17:13:27 -0700
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, Jeff Mischkinsky <JEFF.MISCHKINSKY@oracle.com>
Message-Id: <AEE6EAFB-3C62-4301-937E-69E229C11503@oracle.com>
To: public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
I want to raise two formal points of order about the manner in which  
this WG has operated, particularly in respect to Web Storage.

1. Charter
2. Process

Firstly, no one seriously responds to proposals about things that are  
officially in the WG's charter. If there is inadequate interest, then  
we should get rid of the responsibility from this WG's charter. On the  
other hand, if Web Storage and related matters are in this WG's  
charter based on this WG's agreement, there should be feedback from  
its members, and at least substantive discussions by its appointed  
editors. If the editor is uninterested, then I expect the chair to  
argue whether something seems to fall outside the charter's scope and  
provide reasoning for the same. If none of the chairs are interested,  
then we have a bigger problem. I am conveying this to my AC who may  
take follow up action with the W3 Director on this matter.

On Jun 23, 2009, at 5:10 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:
>> Would it be possible to edit the Web Storage API draft to include the
>> proposed [1] programmable HTTP cache [2] in it?
> I don't think it needs to be in the Web Storage specification; it  
> seems
> like it would be better to have it in its own specification.

Secondly, what expertise and authority has the group vested in Ian to  
summarily dismiss member submissions to a topic under active  
consideration of this WG? There have been no reasons provided to  
support this decision. Let's not hide behind the fig leaf that this is  
not a decision but a mere opinion. We all know better.

> That way it can progress faster along the standards track.

What a nice way to say "Please go some place else and stop wasting our  

On the one hand, Ian shows openness in including others' opinions and  
encouraging others to edit the spec without necessarily seeking  
permission from the WG. On the other hand, he doesn't allow anyone to  
contribute meaningfully to the spec.

Ian needs to either demonstrate the reasoning for his arguments by  
relating it to requirements this WG has agreed to or keep his opinions  
to himself. Stating his opinions in this manner does not behoove  
someone we call editor of this WG's deliverables. If he wants to  
freely dispense his limited wisdom about this topic, then he can feel  
free to do so after he steps down from the pulpit.

> The Web Storage specification is someone dead-locked right now due  
> to the
> lack of consensus on whether to use SQL or not.

The WG chair went ahead with the publication of the Web Storage draft  
overriding serious objections about it's direction and emphasis. While  
nominally the chair and editor are following a process in terms of  
publication sequence, I see little evidence of a collaborative or  
group effort. We are not here in the WG to merely rubber stamp a small  
group's opinions as a standard.

My problem, however, is that the WG is operating in an autocratic and  
an unaccountable manner.

Firstly, arbitrary changes are made to the charter without taking into  
account its member's concerns [1]
Secondly, serious objections about are overruled before publishing an  
FPWD [2], including the lack of requirements to even develop a WD [3]
Thirdly, no serious discussion takes place on the WG's official  
mailing list and the editor declares a proposal as deadlocked. I mean  
how? ... why? who is to make the call? [4]
Fourthly, those willing to help get a rude, thanks but no thanks. [5]

This WG is dysfunctional at least as far as the recently added Web  
Storage deliverable is concerned. I hope one of the chairs spends some  
time thinking about how to deal with the breakdown.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2009AprJun/0245.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2009AprJun/0142.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2009AprJun/0152.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2009AprJun/0341.html
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2009AprJun/1213.html
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 00:16:05 UTC

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