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Re: On babies and bathwater (was Re: [rtcweb] Summary of Application Developers' opinions of the current WebRTC API and SDP as a control surface)

From: Cullen Jennings (fluffy) <fluffy@cisco.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 03:54:49 +0000
To: cowwoc <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>
CC: "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>, Stefan Håkansson LK <stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com>
Message-ID: <C5E08FE080ACFD4DAE31E4BDBF944EB113608272@xmb-aln-x02.cisco.com>

Few comments inline 

On Jul 23, 2013, at 3:22 AM, Stefan Håkansson LK <stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com> wrote:

> Hi Gili,
> in-line (and note that my co-chair is having vacation so this represents 
> my views and not the joint view of the chairs):
> On 7/22/13 6:47 PM, cowwoc wrote:
>> Hi Stefan,
>>     To be honest, I am very frustrated. I have been trying very hard to
>> find common ground with people on this list but it seems that there is
>> too much bad blood (on the list in general) for us to find common ground.
> I'm sorry to hear you are frustrated, but I think you will have to be a 
> bit patient, and also recognize that this is not a WG starting fresh. 
> This WG has an official API document that has been in the making for a 
> long time, while I interpret your proposals as something along the lines 
> of "let's start fresh, and do I propose to do it this way".

agree and sorry this is frustrating but as the chairs gave guidance earlier, bringing use cases and what we need to be able to do is one of the easiest ways to get the working group to make process. I realize some of these use cases are hidden in the long threads. Some of the things people bring up our things that the WG has talked about and intends to solve once we get past some of the other issues.  

> I think that the most common ground may very well be "let's finalize the 
> current work first, and then move on to a new version" or something 
> similar, but I am listening to the input on the list (and we should 
> probably have a teleconf in August as well to discuss further).
>>     Everyone is out to get their way which results in flame-wars
>> breaking out on the mailing list. I think people need to internalize
>> that they will not get their way 100%. It's no coincidence that
>> http://lcsd05.cs.tamu.edu/slides/keynote.pdf slide 11 says "Aim to
>> displease everyone equally" and not the other way around :)
> I have also noted the flame-wars on the list, and personally I don't 
> think it is very constructive.

Agree it is not construct and lots of people feel that they have stated their opinion and there is no need to reply to future posting on same topic. Other people would like to read that no one disagreed with them as support for their idea but its not. This happens in all standards work. 

>>     I wish people would post something like this:
>>     "I proposed <brief description> (see <link> for more detail).

Due to archive issues we need the contents of the link in a permanent w3c archive. 

>> But
>> in all honesty, it doesn't matter that much. I just want an API that:
>>  * Abstracts away the network so: (high-level goal, "what" not "how")
>>      o Applications don't need to keep reimplementing protocol-parsers.
>>      o Applications don't break when the network protocol changes.
>>  * I don't mind whether the high-level API is developed by W3C or the
>>    general public. I just want it to be well-designed and easy to use."
>>    (non-goal)

Sure - I think many people agree with your goals. However a large number of people believe that is possible with the current API. 

>>     Non-goals are just as important as goals. People need to state what
>> they are willing to give up in return for what they're asking for.
>>     Final point: I think there is a lot of distrust between the
>> community and the Working Group. I encourage the Chairs to add
>> transparency by stating their intentions for 1.0.

I think the chairs have been extremely transparent. They are trying to chair the WG but that does not allow them to act as dictators and announce their intentions for 1.0. They are clearly following the conversation which is probably taking there time away from actually moving things forward. 

>>     I for one am afraid that an API will be forced on us without consensus.

I will 100% assure you that this API is not going to have 100% agreement that everyone likes it when it is finished. So depending on what you mean by consensus who knows. Everyone is trying to figure out the important things we need to be able to do and make sure the API can do them. At the same time we are trying to sequence the discussion to get the big picture right, then peel the next layer of the notion and fix up more of details, then the finer edge cases. When we are in the process of sorting out fine details, it is frustrating to constantly have to re argue about  the big architecture picture. 

> The chairs are listening to the discussion, but please remember that 
> there has been long discussions in the past resulting in the current API 
> approach. Those discussions took place in public, so I don't think you 
> can really say it is forced on us without consensus.
> The recent discussions are not unnoticed, but we need to balance this. 
> If we never stick to decisions, we will never finalize anything.
>>     A few days ago Eric Rescorla wrote: "There have been a large number
>> of posts from a relatively small number of people, but that doesn't make
>> it consensus." I view that as part of the problem.
> Compared to the number of people who have been involved in the last two 
> years of discussion leading to the current API document, I think Eric is 
> right.
> At the same time, we see new input now from people who were not very 
> active a year ago, and there is also insights developed by those who 
> where active then.
>>     How do we prove consensus on any topic in a way that will elicit an
>> official response from the Chairs? The community needs guidance from the
>> Chairs, otherwise we will continue to argue endlessly and this doesn't
>> serve anyone's interests.
Received on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 03:55:39 UTC

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