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RE: tracker already has ternary state - RAISED

From: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2008 05:23:20 -0700
To: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
CC: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, "joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie" <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>, "wai-liaison@w3.org" <wai-liaison@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D12127075745E648BBC075EF46983E170C43615D30@TK5-EXMBX-W603v.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>

+1.  (BTW, sorry for lack of response- I'm on vacation right now, and Dan is also incommunicado.)
From: Robert J Burns [rob@robburns.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2008 2:27 PM
To: Laura Carlson
Cc: Anne van Kesteren; Steven Faulkner; Gregory J. Rosmaita; joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie; Michael(tm) Smith; Dan Connolly; Chris Wilson; James Graham; www-archive@w3.org; wai-liaison@w3.org
Subject: Re: tracker already has ternary state - RAISED

HI James,

> Laura Carlson wrote:
>>> I'm not sure having a formal procdure for this is needed, to
>>> be honest.
>> Like I mentioned before policies and procedures can:
>> - Help everyone be aware of what is expected
>> - Help prevent misunderstandings about expectations
>> - Standardize operations
>> - Provide more clarity and consistency
>> - Encourage stability and continuity in operations
>> - Stabilize action despite top-level changes
>> - Discourage actions based on personalities
>> - Help avoid future conflict
> It's worth noting that policies and procedures have a downside too;
> they
> can slow down a process by creating unnecessary bureaucracy, make
> organizations less able to respond to changing circumstances, and
> often
> allow so-minded individuals to easily game a system by subverting the
> formal process.

I think you have it backwards here. Proper procedures of the kind
Laura is suggesting prevent individuals from gaming the system. Right
now our process and procedures are ripe for gaming. I think you'd
agree we don't want that.

> This isn't to say that I think that having a better documented process
> is necessarily a bad idea (indeed there is already a great deal of W3C
> process). However I think it is worth considering very carefully what
> problems you want to solve before adding new process. For example you
> have asked for a formal process for people to get their ideas into the
> spec. However you have not mentioned the rather critical issue of
> how to
> keep stuff out of the spec; I would argue that this is really the more
> important side of the issue because saying "no" to people tends to go
> down less well than "yes", but putting in every half-baked idea that
> anyone comes up with has a significantly worse effect on the quality
> of
> the language (and hence the web as a platform) than failing to pick up
> all the good stuff as soon as it is first brought up.

Agreed this is a problem we face too. I agree there are some things in
this spec that don't belong. And there too without proper procedures
we can't address that side of the issue either.

>> But most of all, a policy and procedures would help show that the W3C
>> means to be above-board, fair, and accountable and not arbitrary,
>> inconsistent, unjust, partial, disenfranchising,  or discriminating.
> I guess that would depend on what any process was, right? For example,
> as I understand it, the Python programming language has a process
> which
> amounts to "in the event of conflict Guido (the language's inventor)
> gets the final say". It could be argued that this "process" is neither
> fair nor accountable, yet it has produced an extremely high quality
> and
> popular product which has retained a strong design aesthetic
> critical to
> the success of the language.

That might make sense for Python, but certainly not for HTML. HTML is
now the way the World communicates, there's no other document format
that is as universal as HTML. It's important we involve a plurality of
voices in its development. Regardless, if we were to follow your
analogy, it would be TBL, Dan and others not represented here who
would  have the final say and not me, not you, and not Ian.

Take care,
Received on Sunday, 8 June 2008 12:24:40 UTC

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