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Re: A proposal for revising the rules on TAG Participation

From: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:12:46 -0700
Message-ID: <CANr5HFX0nxjAN8xDE15MC8nWLhwEB6yBGGooRwNi10PJANX6ZA@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
On Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 9:50 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:

> On 07/11/2014 07:37 PM, Marcos Caceres wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On July 10, 2014 at 8:32:38 PM, Charles McCathie Nevile
>> (chaals@yandex-team.ru) wrote:
>>
>>> I would be interested to hear of things that Marcos would have
>>>>
>>> done but didn't because he was required to resign, and whether
>>> anything would have mitigated the situation except changing the
>>> rules.
>>>
>>
>> Well, let see. I set up the TAG GitHub account and was happily doing
>> API reviews. I was also starting to rewrite the architecture of the
>> Web document with Henry, but had to stop. I couldn't justify the time
>> and travel commitment to my employer (Mozilla) if I wasn't officially
>> on the TAG.  [ . . . . ]
>>
>
> That's an interesting data point.  Thanks for sharing it Marcos.  But
> apart from demonstrating the obvious loss of a good person making good
> contributions, at the same time it demonstrates the fact that your
> employer's agenda trumped your personal desire to do good and contribute to
> the Web.
>

That's an incredibly strange intepretation. Mozilla continues to do good
and contribute to the web. Mozilla continues to support TAG members (Dave
and prevously Anne). But they're not funding Marcos' travel to TAG meetings
as a part of that and, thanks to membership, ahve no reasonable expectation
that his travel would be effective if they *did* fund it.

Put another way, if an employee came to you and said "I'm going to keep
going to these meetings but can't really participate as an equal" what
would you do?


> No matter how well-meaning one is, it simply is not possible to maintain
> neutrality (or the appearance thereof) when one's food and mortgage are
> paid by one's employer.
>

You appear deeply unfamiliar with both Mozilla and Google. More to the
point, I'd go out on a limb and say that if you think the people you
elected to be on the TAG are, in general, sock puppets, I recommend you
work to strip the TAG of even its ceremonial authority.

If, on the other hand, you look at our body of recent work, you'll see it's
largely the TAG putting the breaks on (and constructive comments) towards
MOZILLA AND GOOGLE sponsored work in various WGs.

Categorical statements that can't be reckoned with reality deserve to be
ignored categorically.


> Companies routinely manipulate the good intentions of their employees to
> benefit the company's agenda.  (And I do not mean to be singling out any
> particular company or individual here.)
>
> Stacking a decision-making body with very likable, talented and
> well-meaning individuals is the most effective way to do it.  The fact that
> those individuals may honestly attempt to be neutral does *not* mean that
> the net effect is neutral.  And again, I'm not saying that any particular
> company is consciously trying to stack the TAG.  But conscious or not, that
> can be the effect.
>
> Personally, I think it would be okay to relax the TAG's rule slightly to
> allow two individuals from the same organization to serve temporarily
> and/or with the approval of the AB.   But beyond that I think there would
> be too much danger of undue dominance by one organization, regardless of
> how well meaning the individuals are.
>
> David Booth
>
Received on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 01:13:44 UTC

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