Re: References and Modularity

[following Art in posting to tag and bcc'ing ac forum]

Other orgs, not just W3C need to be able to reference a fairly mature, 
stable spec (when getting to REC takes as long as it sometimes does).  
The obvious stage that should be is CR.  I think the rules should be a 
REC can normatively reference a CR without any special approval.

We may eventually want to move AC review up to CR as well, with a second 
AC review at REC only if AC members ask for it (because something 
changed or some significant issue came up during CR).


On 5/29/2013 5:02 AM, Arthur Barstow wrote:
> [ Bcc: public-w3process, chairs and w3c-ac-forum; please reply to 
> ; Robin's e-mail to www-tag is archived at 
> <> ]
> On 5/29/13 6:02 AM, ext Robin Berjon wrote:
>> The common lore on this issue is that you can only reference stable
>> documents, or documents that are at most one degree of maturity behind
>> your own. In truth, that requirement is not a solid one: Process allows
>> the Director to decide whether (s)he feels the way a specification
>> handles references is satisfactory or not. That said, "satisfactory" is
>> a fuzzy concept and while it remains undefined the natural tendency of
>> cautious stakeholders will be to reach for the strict interpretation in
>> order to be on the safe side.
> Thanks for starting this thread Robin. (I started a related Draft 
> several months ago and I am delighted you beat me to it ...)
> I agree the current out-of-band normative reference policy is 
> suboptimal and in some cases I argue it is actually harmful. For 
> example, if/when a Proposed Recommendation (PR)  is blocked solely 
> because of this policy, implementers, developers, etc. are not 
> protected by the IP commitments that start when the PR is published as 
> a W3C Recommendation. This scenario isn't fiction - it is true for 
> three PR in WGs I chair and I would not be surprised if the reference 
> policy is also blocking other PRs (Geolocation?, others?).
> I don't have a strong preference on how this issue is addressed other 
> than I would, naturally, prefer a very lightweight approach. To that 
> end, I'd like to see WGs have the final "say" on the reference 
> decision. After all, it is the WG members that typically have the most 
> skin in the game re implementations and thus they are best suited to 
> determine the related risks (e.g. if interop problems will occur 
> if/when a reference changes). If a WG agrees to publish a Candidate 
> Recommendation (CR) with references that are CR or less, then I think 
> that decision should carry a lot of weight.
> If the policy permitted more WG autonomy as described above, there 
> could be a requirement that all W3C normative references must be to a 
> dated spec and that all such refs must be at least a FPWD. For 
> Candidate Recommendations, the Status of the Document statement could 
> explicitly state that if implementers consider the "maturity" of a 
> normative reference a substantial issue, they should formally raise an 
> issue during the implementation phase. In the absence of such issues, 
> the group can then (accurately, IMHO) conclude the CR's references are 
> sufficient to advance the spec to REC and the Director should honor 
> the group's decision.
> -AB

Received on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:07:43 UTC