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Re: discretion in adding issues [was: respecification of document.write...]

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 22:44:32 +0000
Cc: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <488214C0-BCB0-4301-86F2-EF6F88CC0F57@robburns.com>
To: "Shawn Medero" <soypunk@gmail.com>

HI Shawn,

Thanks for your reply.

On May 30, 2008, at 4:39 PM, Shawn Medero wrote:

> On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 3:34 AM, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>  
> wrote:
>> I understand that issues places a burden on the WG. I wish the  
>> process went
>> smoother so that edits to the draft occurred in some correspondence  
>> to the
>> deliberations of the WG. Until that happens, I can't see another  
>> way to
>> handle this then through the issue-tracker system.
> Would you mind demonstrating an instance where the WG and issue
> tracker were not in-sync? We should keep in mind that the issue
> tracker is not a line-by-line "bug" tracker for the specification. It
> is meant to track WG progress (often represented as ACTIONs) on broad
> concepts concerning the specification. For instance we an issue to
> help track the progress and discussion around @alt. In this cases
> there is groundswell of WG discussion about a concept and the issue
> tracker will help track how we our decision came to be.

The sentiment I tried to convey in this message is that I thought the  
deliberations of the WG that are NOT in the issue tracker were not  
going well, and I felt the issue tracker was necessary to move these  
issues along. I never meant to suggest that the issue-tracker was not  

>> Having said all of that, although I usually cannot attend the
>> teleconferences, I want to let you know (as  also conveyed to   
>> Gregory,
>> Laura and Joshue who often can attend teleconferences) that I am  
>> available
>> to work on these issues: i.e., drafting spec language, coordinating  
>> research
>> needs and facilitating discussion. I hope you understand too, that  
>> a great
>> amount of work — by me and many other WG members — already has gone  
>> into
>> discussing these topics and congealing them into actionable items  
>> from all
>> of these lengthy prior discussions.
> Either you or I have fundamentally misunderstood how issues are
> developed in the WG... I'll leave such guidance to our Chairs.
> There's not a ground swell of discussion about ["UA norm for redirects
> (both META and http)"][1]. I'm not just saying this from memory... if
> I do [a really simple search for "redirect" across public-html][2] I'd
> don't see any discussion about your exact issue until you raised it.
> That you took the time to document a potential issue and start a
> thread about it is good... that you presumed "it will be added to the
> issue-tracker in time" is inappropriate.

I never claimed there was any groundswell. However, I took a 6 month  
hiatus from participating in this WG and all of the issues I've raised  
now were on the table back then (most in the issue tracker). They were  
not issues that I brought to the WG, but rather issues that I took the  
time to understand and digest and in many cases add to the old issue  
tracking system (the Wiki which is all we had when I took my break  
from the WG): distilling these issues from deliberations of the WG.

I would say that we do have a very different view about what is  
happening in this WG. I see very little collaborative work going on  
and an editor who shows complete contempt for W3C process and the  
opinions of most anyone who speaks up. The general tenor of the WG  
ends up chasing members away except for those who come first through  
the WhatWG. I personally responded to an invitation from the WhatWG to  
join in this WG, but since I hadn't been active in the WhatWG before I  
(like many others) was branded as a non-WhatWG member and therefore my  
contributions and opinions could be safely ignored at best and  
ridiculed at worst.

> Here's an example from one that was made into an ISSUE: To say a great
> amount of discussion went into [ISSUE-43][3] (Client-Side Image Maps)
> is a very strong misrepresentation. There's almost no discussion of
> them in the public-html records or on IRC. The [wiki page][4] cited in
> this issue contains edits entirely from one author.

Well it’s easy to belittle the work of other WG members, but I know  
that I put a tremendous amount of time into deliberating and  
understanding the opinions of others as well as identifying the  
interoperability problems and under-specification of HTML image maps.

> Please don't misunderstand me Robert - you have every right to start a
> discussion and craft the discussion into an issue. No one is going to
> discourage you from investing your energy into fostering healthy
> discussions. If anyone does so you should ignore them and continue
> building support, compiling use cases, finding research, and
> documenting your efforts.
> The problem (from my POV) with prematurely opening issues is that they
> haven't been vetted ... and now it is left to a handful of issue
> tracking volunteers, the editors, and the Chairs to sort this mess
> out.

Again, calling it a mess simply belittles the hard work of mine and  
other members who contributed to these discussions. Every single one  
of these issues originated from my participation in the WG over 6  
months ago. Most of them have been in the issue tracking system (the  
wiki) since those days. On the issue of image maps, I don't know how  
many emails were generated or IRC lines logged (in terms of shear  
number), but I do know that tracking, researching and deliberating the  
issue occupied a good chunk of my life (I'm sorry I can't give you a  
scaler value measure of that). My recent work has been to clean up  
those pages, to focus the issues and to add a few times that I didn't  
get around to adding 6 months ago.

I too am a volunteer and I find it quite offensive to call the  
contributions and time I've spent on this WG — in concert with others  
— "a mess".  As I've told Dan and several of my colleagues on the WG  
(those who are able to regularly attend the teleconferences) that I am  
ready and willing to put the time in to flesh out these: to facilitate  
dialog, to spearhead research into the current UA behavior, and even  
draft sections for HTML5. It is not at all that I want to do this nor  
that I care all that deeply about any one of these issues. However, I  
do care that an invitation was made for public participation in this  
WG and no one genuinely cared to facilitate nor even allow such public  
participation. Rather it seems this invitation was merely a publicity  
stunt to be able to make a claim of unprecedented public participation.

I would really like to see you and others in this WG show a little  
more respect to your colleagues on the WG — most of whom are also  
volunteering their valuable time.

Take care,
Received on Friday, 30 May 2008 22:45:32 UTC

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