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Re: Improving Communication and Expectations

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2008 03:28:34 -0700
Cc: www-archive@w3.org, "public-webapps@w3.org" <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-Id: <8C41ECCA-664D-4A82-B558-0768E67ED049@apple.com>
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>

On Jun 16, 2008, at 1:50 AM, Doug Schepers wrote:

> Hi, Maciej-
> You may have misunderstood what I wrote.  I did not propose that  
> issues be brought up and solved in a binding manner during a single  
> telcon (though some minor issues may be, in the interest of acting  
> in a suitably-paced manner).  As I clearly stated, the issues should  
> be raised, discussed via email and supporting documents, giving  
> everyone a chance to give input... the decision would be done during  
> the telcon after the data has been collected, to  draw the issue to  
> a close.
> I honestly don't see how you could have jumped to your conclusion,  
> unless you didn't read my email.

I just assumed that telecons would work as they do in every W3C WG I  
have seen that makes binding decisions in telecons:

1) I have never seen a W3C Working Group chair take an actual roll  
call or ask for affirmative support when proposing a resolution in a  
telecon, just "no objections?" and a 30 second pause before the  
resolution is declared to pass.

2) I have rarely seen telecon decisions tabled because it was a new  
issue without adequate prior discussion. I have often seen an issue  
discussed for a total of 5-10 minutes (without significant prior email  
discussion) before a resolution is proposed

3) I have often seen telecon decisions ignore prior email feedback  
because many people hadn't bothered to read it, or since the person  
who'd sent the email was not present.

If you are instead proposing a new kind of telecon-based binding  
decision-making that would not have these problems then I'd be  
interested in hearing more about it.

I think the bottom line is that different people have different  
working styles. Some, like you, appreciate the heartbeat and sense of  
inclusion of weekly phone meetings. Others, like me, feel  
uncomfortable trying to make quick judgments on technical issues  
without adequate time to think about them, and do not find it a good  
use of time to listen to those who are happy to discuss without  
studying the matter. That's particularly likely to be true, I think,  
for those of us who have day jobs working on implementations or other  
areas of standards, but such people are highly likely to have relevant  
technical input as well.

If binding decisions should be made in telecons, the working group  
would favor people with your kind of working style over those with my  
working style. I would strongly prefer if we had a way of making  
decisions that could be inclusive of both of these working styles.

Perhaps this can be achieved with a combination of teleconferences,  
email discussion of proposals made in telecons, and a decision process  
where both "phone people" and "email people" can participate in a way  
they find comfortable. Perhaps a roll call voice vote plus web survey  
would do it. Or maybe just the web survey would do, if telecons remind  
people to vote.

Received on Monday, 16 June 2008 10:29:20 UTC

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