failure to communicate

Janet Daly wrote:
> For those of you not familiar with how W3C works: W3C puts documents out
> for public comment, announces them, and is obliged to respond to
> questions and critiques. This document was no different; in fact, not
> only was the document announced on the W3C Homepage six weeks ago, the
> WG produced both a FAQ and backgrounder, and the announcement was
> carried on a variety of syndication services which rely on RSS feeds.

Given that, according to the W3C's own archives at:


For the month of August:

	* 7 messages total were received, of which:
		5 were spam;
		1 was an announcement of the list's creation;
		1 was a comment.

For the month of September:

	* 748 messages total were received, of which:
		The only messages dated before the 24th were spam;
		one comment was dated the 24th;
		one comment was dated the 27th;
		two comments were dated the 28th;
		20 comments were dated the 29th;
		the remainder of the comments (well over seven hundred)
			were dated the 30th.

I would suggest that the W3C's strategies for announcing new policies
come under review, if it truly seeks informed public commentary.

I feel certain that the W3C will receive the type of critique it desires
if the comment period is extended.  Such a dramatic groundswell of
opposition on the very day of the comment period deadline, irrespective
of how well- or poorly-informed, should indicate to any rational mind a
failure of initial communication.

> As of now, many comments sent to W3C's Patent Policy Comment list simply
> say, "Don't!" By responding in this manner, writers give the Working
> Group nothing on which to build a constructive response or to consider.

It is not logical under these circumstances to interpret the long period
of silence as assent.

Perhaps after extending the comment period, those with incisive
comments, both in favor of and against the existing proposal, should be
recruited to help author a new draft.  I do assume that the W3C seeks to
be representative of the community it serves.

G. Branden Robinson                |     Don't use nuclear weapons to
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     troubleshoot faults.              |     -- US Air Force Instruction 91-111 |

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 23:55:32 UTC