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Re: Proposed Charter Changes

From: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:24:42 +0000
To: "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7ACA976E-0A87-4A92-B6EB-318D5B405D5D@microsoft.com>
Cullen Jennings <fluffy@cisco.com<mailto:fluffy@cisco.com?Subject=Re%3A%20Proposed%20Charter%20Changes&In-Reply-To=%3CAF740A35-9FB8-4F56-A0BB-A4864880BC8E%40cisco.com%3E&References=%3CAF740A35-9FB8-4F56-A0BB-A4864880BC8E%40cisco.com%3E>> wrote:
> I put a diff at
> https://github.com/fluffy/webrtc-charter/compare/gh-pages...fluffy:ekr

That appears to compare EKR’s proposal with the original charter that triggered formal objections.  Comparing Dom’s revised  charter proposal which addresses the objections in https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webrtc/2015Mar/att-0046/webrtc-charter.html to EKRs in https://github.com/ekr/webrtc-charter/tree/ekr_revision  I see a number of significant changes.  EKR’s proposal:

- Adds a 3rd year to the lifetime of the WG, saying that once 1.0 is stable, “the group will reevaluate its deliverables and milestones, and may reconsider its scope.”
- Adds language to the Deliverables section constraining future versions of the WebRTC spec to be backward compatible with 1.0
- Drops the formal liaison with the ORTC Community Group
- Drops language from the Decision Policy section saying that editors are responsible for reflecting the consensus in the WG and that those sections that haven’t been reviewed by the WG should visibly reflect that fact

These changes are not likely to build bridges between the RTC communities, and are problematic for a number of reasons.  In particular  the idea that a WG “may reconsider its scope” without going through a formal chartering process is incompatible with the W3C process and patent policy.  The scope statement is a key part of the WG’s “contract” with the AC and what drives members IPR commitments when they join a WG.  If we have to go thru another rechartering exercise to put 1.1/NG deliverables in scope, let’s have that discussion when we have stable specs and real world experience to discuss, not pencil it in now and change it later.

I strongly object to changing the Decision Policy section in Dom’s draft, which was negotiated as a way around the 2 formal objections. If there are substantive objections to the proposed decision policy, let’s discuss.

On the ORTC liaison,the CG is a group with many of the same members as the WebRTC WG, and implementation experience with ORTC is exposing many questions about the underlying IETF specs and protocols that affect 1.0 as well.  No one is asking for joint decision making or a veto power, and it seems to be in the WebRTC WG’s best interest to maintain open and respectful communications with the ORTC CG.

On constraining a future WebRTC standard to be backward compatible with 1.0, that seems reasonable in principle and Justin has sketched out an approach to keeping apps built for 1.0 working on in a future version. BUT there is a very big devil in the details: There is no stable version of 1.0 yet, so it’s essentially signing a “blank check”, promising to support whatever the WG eventually fills in, irrespective of how it works in the real world.

The way forward Dom’s charter sketches out seems less confrontational:  The WG focuses on getting 1.0 stabilized, the ORTC CG works to see if it’s ideas actually work for implementers and app developers. When 1.0 gets to CR we all look at the evidence of what works, what else is needed, and figure out a 1.1/NG charter that everyone can sign up to.  I don’t particularly care whether the current WG charter is extended or Dom’s charter approved, but it’s premature to draft a 1.1 charter while 1.0 is in flux and ORTC is still learning from  implementation experience.  For those who disagree, let's start with Dom’s draft and see if there are tweaks to satisfy both those who want to have NG work in scope, and those who want to see the WG prove it can build  consensus on a 1.0 spec before claiming ownership of  the next generation.

Received on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 05:25:11 UTC

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