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Re: [csswg] using mailing list to resolve spec issues

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 10:14:37 -0700
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-id: <DE5E066A-37D5-4FB5-82BD-3CB47F8E5346@apple.com>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>

In my experience as a co-Chair of the HTML WG, resolving issues by email is often effective. When an extra degree of formality is required, we post a Call for Consensus with a one-week time limit to reply. We also quickly review pending email CFCs in the weekly telecon. This gives everyone due notice, and generally HTML WG members have not complained of feeling excluded. When such topics result in extensive email discussion, we know that further discussion of the matter may be required before the WG makes a decision, either in email, on telecons, or both.


On May 11, 2012, at 1:42 AM, John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com> wrote:

> I'd like to follow-up on one of the topics discussed briefly at the
> Hamburg F2F.  Given the growing amount of work the group is tackling,
> there was a question as to how to increase the throughput of group
> decisions.  We currently rely on decisions made in either telcons or
> F2F meetings while other groups at the W3C have shifted to making
> decisions via some form of mailing list discussion.  David Baron
> proposed doing more work via a mailing list, be it either www-style or
> a public wg-only list (everyone can view, only WG members can post).
> I see a couple alternatives here:
> (1) Use the public www-style mailing list for simple issues.
>  When an editor needs to resolve an issue, after an initial
>  discussion on the www-style list, they issue some form of "call
>  to decide" on that issue.  WG members would need to filter
>  these and respond.  In addition to a simple yea/nea response,
>  they could simply respond with "need to discuss" which would
>  push the issue to a telcon/F2F discussion.
> (2) Use a public WG list (publicly viewable, only WG can post)
>    for simple issues.
>  Same as (1) with subject-related discussions done on www-style
>  but discussions related to consensus are handled on the WG
>  list.  We already have a private WG list for administrivia but
>  I think we should be deciding spec issues publicly.
> (3) Use mailing list discussions to decide everything
>  Telcons/F2F would be for discussions required to resolve
>  difficult issues but most actual decisions would always be made
>  via the list.
> As an editor, I really like the idea of being able to make decisions
> on topics that aren't necessarily controversial or require extensive
> collective discussion in the group, either in a telcon or during a
> F2F. Telcon time is limited and not convenient for all participants
> spread around the world (for folks in Japan and Australia, the telcon
> is in the wee hours).  I think there are naturally some subjects that
> benefit from a telcon/F2F back and forth discussion but I think there
> are often topics that simply require participants to review and
> comment yea/nea on a proposal.  I can easily imagine a workflow that
> allows a smooth decision making process for many simple issues.
> During the discussion yesterday there seemed to be broad support for
> this idea but both the chairs and Bert were strongly opposed.  I'm
> wondering if we can find a process that combines the use of mailing
> lists with the normal telcon/F2F discussions that doesn't suffer from
> the signal-to-noise issues that the chairs seemed concerned about.
> Regards,
> John Daggett
> Mozilla Japan
Received on Friday, 11 May 2012 17:15:19 UTC

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