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Re: [css3-color] #rrggbbaa annotation, do we need to change the process?

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 22:28:36 -0400
Message-ID: <4BBD3F54.6050200@mit.edu>
To: Eduard Pascual <herenvardo@gmail.com>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On 4/7/10 1:55 PM, Eduard Pascual wrote:
> 3) "Are you volunteering to...?"
> That kind of questions are, on the best case, an euphemism.

I don't see why.  The last few times they've been asked on this list 
they were perfectly honest questions.

> Last time I checked, there are two ways to be part of the W3C process:
> - Be an employee of a W3C member company, and have that company commit
> your work time to contribute on the W3C work.
> - Become an "invited expert". That quite reminds me of the times when
> GMail was "invitational", and having a GMail account was a privilege.
> Who "invites" people to join the W3C work? How is "expertise" measured
> for potential invitees?

These are the ways to attend working group meetings (and possibly have a 
say on things that come to a working group vote, rare as that is). 
Anyone at all can always write tests, submit proposed spec text, and so 
forth.  Of course a working group member would have to bring the 
proposal up at a meeting... but I think it's a safe bet that if a 
working group member asks for a volunteer to write some spec text the 
work won't just be ignored.

Note that I, for example, am not a csswg member in any capacity.  That 
doesn't mean I can't submit a proposal on how table anonymous objects 
should work, though it does mean that I can't bring it up in a meeting 
myself and it ends up getting filtered through Elika.  ;)

> Looking back at 1), it seems that we have figured out one of the
> bottlenecks on the W3C process: shortage of manpower, coupled with
> obstacles to acquire more manpower.

The main obstacle to this last seems to be that many people consider the 
business of writing specs and tests (much less implementing) "somebody 
else's problem", at least as far as I can see....

> Maybe it's time to learn from HTML5's quite successful process, and
> incorporate some ideas of it into W3C's.

Plenty of the CSS bits (the ones that UAs wanted as much as they want 
HTML5 stuff) have been implemented in all sorts of UAs.

> - Allow volunteers to contribute on the tasks where bottlenecks are
> found (test suite development and spec text authoring seem to be the
> most prominent).

They are already allowed, even encouraged to do so.  There have been 
multiple appeals for people to submit tests, and the "are you 
volunteering?" questions are precisely asking people to.... volunteer.

> - Make more clear and simple the requirements for joining the W3C work.

"Post to this mailing list, with the name of the spec you're commenting 
on in square brackets at the beginning of the subject."

> - Create a "level" of contribution that doesn't involve so much
> bureaucracy to opt in for contributors. This could be called "External
> collaborator" or "External assistant". The key aspect is that it
> should require neither invitation nor specific employment status
> (after all, unemployed people probably have a lot more time to commit
> here ;) ).

Every single public working group has precisely that: you send mail to 
the public mailing list.  www-style in this case.

>    ->  Have reached a minimum degree of participation on the mailing
> lists for the relevant specs (for example, these lists for the case of
> a CSS collaborator).

I'm not sure why we need another bucket between "poster on mailing list" 
and "official working group member".  How would people in this bucket 
differ from anyone else posting to the mailing list?

>    ->  Ability/Commitment to participate on online meetings regularly.

It's not clear to me that the CSSWG has such, other than discussions on 
this mailing list.  If it does, I wouldn't know, of course.  ;)

It seems to me that you're imagining barriers to participation that 
don't actually exist (modulo possibly participation in those non-f2f 
meetings), then trying to address them.  But it'd be good to figure out 
whether the barriers are there first.

Received on Thursday, 8 April 2010 02:29:12 UTC

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