W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2014

Re: Forced Resignation

From: Sergey Konstantinov <twirl@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:16:38 +0400
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <12811404299798@webcorp01g.yandex-team.ru>
Let me add one thought.
If we say that TAG has certain influence then "1 member from one company" rule is important.
If we say that TAG in fact is just a consultative committee with no real power then, of course, this rule is redundant; but then we need to understand why this question produced such a large-scale discussion with so many people involved.

30.06.2014, 20:14, "Noah Mendelsohn" <nrm@arcanedomain.com>:
> šOn 6/30/2014 10:14 AM, Alex Russell wrote:
>> ššI think that the AC and AB need to decide if the TAG -- which writes no
>> ššspecs and wields no direct power, and which elects individuals and not
>> ššorganisations -- should be organised around member organisations in the
>> ššfirst place.
>>
>> ššDo you have reason to think the TAG should be organised this way?
> šI am not trying here to take a position on the merits of this policy, but
> šsince Alex has eloquently stated the drawbacks, I think it's worth looking
> ša bit at the positives and the history.
>
> šThis is not a new occurrence or a new concern. When I was invited to join
> šthe TAG in 1994 it was to fill an opening created by (as I recall) the
> šsimilarly "forced" resignation of Tim Bray, someone who in my opinion was
> šviewed by all as an extraordinarily insightful, productive, and deserving
> šTAG member. I'm fairly sure this happened other times too (Norm maybe?).
> šSo, the costs of the policy have been seen and discussed many times.
>
> šThe intention in the W3C is that the TAG indeed be a very influential body:
> šone of it's formal roles is to advise Tim in his role as director regarding
> štechnical policy decisions. As a working group and especially as one with
> šthe remit to look out for Web architecture, it's been assumed that concerns
> šraised by the TAG will be taken very seriously. If a significant number of
> šTAG members were to subvert the work of the group in service to some
> šparticular employer, there could indeed be real costs to the W3C and the Web.
>
> šThere was at least in the early days, and I think still, a very great
> šconcern that large well-funded organizations would have undue influence at
> šthe W3C. It's often hard for small companies to support employees working
> šon groups like the TAG, and it's all too easy in principle for large
> šcompanies to sponsor multiple candidates.
>
> šYes, all TAG members who do their jobs right put the needs of the Web as a
> šwhole ahead of the desires of their employers. When such members can't
> šserve on the TAG something very important is lost. On the other hand, the
> špolicy avoids the temptation to "stuff" the TAG with multiple members who
> šmight not be so pure in their motives. Yes, the election process offers
> šsome defense as well.
>
> šAgain, I've been conflicted about this for many years. I am not saying that
> šon balance the policy is a good one. I do think it's important to note that
> ševeryone has been well aware of the costs for quite a long time, and that
> švalued members have lost their seats before.
>
> šAll of that said, losing Alex would be very unfortunate in my opinion. The
> šimportance and quality of his contributions was crystal clear during my
> štime as chair, and I have no doubt of his ability and desire to put the
> šneeds of the Web first. (Not news to TAG members, but perhaps worth noting
> šfor other readers of this list who may not have had the privilege of
> šworking with Alex directly).
>
> šNoah

--
Sergey Konstantinov
Yandex Maps API Development Team Lead
http://api.yandex.com/maps/

30.06.2014, 20:14, "Noah Mendelsohn" <nrm@arcanedomain.com>:
> On 6/30/2014 10:14 AM, Alex Russell wrote:
>> šI think that the AC and AB need to decide if the TAG -- which writes no
>> šspecs and wields no direct power, and which elects individuals and not
>> šorganisations -- should be organised around member organisations in the
>> šfirst place.
>>
>> šDo you have reason to think the TAG should be organised this way?
>
> I am not trying here to take a position on the merits of this policy, but
> since Alex has eloquently stated the drawbacks, I think it's worth looking
> a bit at the positives and the history.
>
> This is not a new occurrence or a new concern. When I was invited to join
> the TAG in 1994 it was to fill an opening created by (as I recall) the
> similarly "forced" resignation of Tim Bray, someone who in my opinion was
> viewed by all as an extraordinarily insightful, productive, and deserving
> TAG member. I'm fairly sure this happened other times too (Norm maybe?).
> So, the costs of the policy have been seen and discussed many times.
>
> The intention in the W3C is that the TAG indeed be a very influential body:
> one of it's formal roles is to advise Tim in his role as director regarding
> technical policy decisions. As a working group and especially as one with
> the remit to look out for Web architecture, it's been assumed that concerns
> raised by the TAG will be taken very seriously. If a significant number of
> TAG members were to subvert the work of the group in service to some
> particular employer, there could indeed be real costs to the W3C and the Web.
>
> There was at least in the early days, and I think still, a very great
> concern that large well-funded organizations would have undue influence at
> the W3C. It's often hard for small companies to support employees working
> on groups like the TAG, and it's all too easy in principle for large
> companies to sponsor multiple candidates.
>
> Yes, all TAG members who do their jobs right put the needs of the Web as a
> whole ahead of the desires of their employers. When such members can't
> serve on the TAG something very important is lost. On the other hand, the
> policy avoids the temptation to "stuff" the TAG with multiple members who
> might not be so pure in their motives. Yes, the election process offers
> some defense as well.
>
> Again, I've been conflicted about this for many years. I am not saying that
> on balance the policy is a good one. I do think it's important to note that
> everyone has been well aware of the costs for quite a long time, and that
> valued members have lost their seats before.
>
> All of that said, losing Alex would be very unfortunate in my opinion. The
> importance and quality of his contributions was crystal clear during my
> time as chair, and I have no doubt of his ability and desire to put the
> needs of the Web first. (Not news to TAG members, but perhaps worth noting
> for other readers of this list who may not have had the privilege of
> working with Alex directly).
>
> Noah

--
Sergey Konstantinov
Yandex Maps API Development Team Lead
http://api.yandex.com/maps/
Received on Wednesday, 2 July 2014 11:17:13 UTC

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