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RE: charter update with two year cycle

From: White, Jason J <jjwhite@ets.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 14:50:00 +0000
To: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>, GLWAI Guidelines WG org <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BY2PR0701MB19900821256E0F6E02D0C979ABC70@BY2PR0701MB1990.namprd07.prod.outlook.com>

From: Alastair Campbell [mailto:acampbell@nomensa.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 6, 2016 10:28 AM

There is an implicit assumption in the 2.1 approach that might not be obvious to people who haven’t been involved in Agile projects in the last few years. I could also be wrong that this is an assumption, so let’s make it explicit.

Apologies to everyone very familiar with Agile, but for everyone else: the assumption is that you fit the work into a time-box, and release what is done in that time.

If there are only 3 new SC that get consensus by the deadline, then 2.1 may have only 3 new SC. Given the time between 2.0 and 2.1, I think we can manage a lot more than 3, but that is an assumption of the process.

(I appreciate that the guidelines need to work as a whole, so we should also get consensus on the whole at each dot release, not just the individual SCs.)

The rest of the W3C appears to be working in this way, I suspect we need a very good case not to follow suit.

[Jason] I’m not convinced that agile processes will work for WCAG, given the need for high-quality, long lasting requirements and the very substantial effects of this work on the regulatory environment. I think it’s a sufficiently attractive proposal that it should be tried in version 2.1 by initiating a schedule-based release process, however, with a review thereafter to decide whether to proceed with a further 2.x release or whether the remaining proposals should go directly into the next major revision. In effect, I favor postponing any decision about “agile” until the completion of WCAG 2.1. If it’s successful and yields general satisfaction, then the Working Group can request a new Charter either to complete Silver or to continue to develop Silver and (in parallel) to deliver a 2.2 version. If there are problem with the 2.1 process, the next steps can be decided accordingly, with the benefit of experience rather than assumptions and hopes (which are all we have now).

I don’t support using a re-chartering opportunity to assert a long-term process direction in circumstances in which the proposed process hasn’t been shown to work in the special case of WCAG, which is very different from a typical W3C technical specification in salient respects.

My proposal does not change the scope of the work that would actually be completed under the draft Charter; it merely removes the signals that would indicate an intention to commit to agile development prior to having experienced what happens to version 2.1.


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Received on Thursday, 6 October 2016 14:50:33 UTC

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