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Re: Friction and cross pollination

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2011 12:34:19 +0200
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, Mike Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, Norm Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
Message-Id: <84896441-4AF5-40E0-AFC9-7605A466A042@berjon.com>
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
On Oct 14, 2011, at 20:31 , Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
> Michael Champion posted this to the public-html-xml mailing list, but it includes some suggestions directed to the TAG, so I'm relaying it here.
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: Friction and cross pollination
> From: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
> Editorializing a bit  I think it's time to retire the pattern of the TAG
> causing the creation of Task Forces to dig deep into topics that interest
> them but they don't have the bandwidth to pursue.  Instead, those people
> in the TAG or Team or wider community who see an unmet need or envision a
> better solution should propose a community group, see if there is critical
> mass to explore the idea, and if the group comes up with a compelling
> solution THEN propose it to a WG to standardize.  That will reduce the
> number of as-yet unsolvable problems that get put into TF or WG charters
> while giving the people with the vision and determination to solve them
> anyway a place to do so (or not) unimpeded by the skeptics.

I'm a big fan of community groups, but I don' think that they are meant to replace TAG TFs. If there is momentum in the broader community to get a given topic in motion, then by all means that group should be left to self-organise, potentially with liaison from the TAG (in the form of having a TAG member simply join the CG) if it's relevant. But on some topics, that kind of self-organisation does not emerge, and in those situations I think that it makes a lot of sense for the TAG to create a TF. Reasons for this include (in no particular order):

     The Web is big and it is difficult for any nine people to know enough of the nitty gritty details of all aspects to produce optimally informed output  asking for help on specific topics is therefore a strength and not a weakness, and IMHO should be encouraged.

     Some key people are often more likely to accept to contribute if asked by the TAG than in a random CG. I'm pretty certain that some of the key participants in the TF wouldn't have joined a CG on the topic and only accepted because they were asked nicely by the right people.

     Expectations and targets matter in setting the tone for work. I think that people are more likely to be primed with consensus-mindedness for TAG-initiated work. I found the HTML/XML TF to be pretty much efficiently polite throughout which is not exactly my experience of similar discussions in the broader community.

     It would be desirable for the TAG to produce more (finalised) written output. Again, there's only so much you can type with nine people who have other things to do.

Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Monday, 17 October 2011 10:34:51 UTC

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