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Re: A proposal for revising the rules on TAG Participation

From: Marc Fawzi <marc.fawzi@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:33:41 -0700
Message-ID: <CACioZisGBnwDoh9ufv+oJCsMhUxhnj_FMwNMjcdRwd=eM5QtCw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Cc: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Thank you for the clarification, Noah.

Marcos wrote:
<<
I don't think it will change much, tbh. It just won't be as disruptive and
will allow people to serve out their full term.
>>

On the other hand, interruption can be very disruptive to both parties, so
it seems a no brainer to say that people should be able to serve out their
full term. Unless the members are doing work that's not really important to
the web as a whole, I'm not sure how it's possible to justify interrupting
their work.

As far as making conservative change, letting people serve out their full
term should be a no brainer. Beyond this simple fix, one needs to be fully
versed in the pros and cons to suggest any changes, and I'm certainly not.

The core of my message, as an outsider looking in with deep curiosity and
interest, is that derailing people from their mission/passion is not cool
and nothing in the world could justify dampening a person's passion just
because of some political axiom. Letting them continue their term seems to
be the only empathic choice, and it's a good choice as long as it's not
abused, and when it comes to that the notion of innocent till proven guilty
should definitely apply. Else, paranoia is all it is.

Marc



On Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
wrote:

> A few more clarifications for Marc:
>
> * I don't think anyone mentioned the obvious, which is that the TAG has by
> charter a limit of 9 members, one of whom is the W3C Director (Tim BL).
> Three more are appointed by Tim, and 5 are elected. The intention is to
> have a group small enough to work as a synergistic team, and with all
> members committed to devoting a significant fraction of their time to the
> TAG. The reason for the limits on affiliation is in part because TAG slots
> are a scarce resource.
>
> * Several people have asserted the TAG has no power. That's really not
> quite true. First of all, as W3C working group the TAG has certain
> responsibilities and "power". It gets a last call review on
> recommendations, etc. The TAG also has a formal responsibility to
> coordinate liaison between the W3C and other technical organizations
> (including, for example, the IETF). It's expected that when the TAG
> recommends that the W3C take some particular stance or initiate some action
> relating to work of another organization, the W3C will take that as formal
> input. The TAG also has a formal responsibility to advise the Director
> (Tim) on the many technical responsibilities he has. Yes, the TAG's "power"
> does not include the ability to directly stop a specification or speak on
> behalf of the W3C as a whole, but it's quite close in practice. Of course,
> it's best when the TAG's influence derives mainly from the quality of its
> work rather than from it's de jure role, but it does have a formal role in
> many important decision making processes.
>
> Noah
>
>
> On 7/17/2014 1:31 PM, Marcos Caceres wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On July 16, 2014 at 10:51:32 PM, Marc Fawzi (marc.fawzi@gmail.com) wrote:
>>
>>> Metaphor ping pong aside :) ... as a complete stranger to the
>>>>
>>> TAG "scene" can someone explain why MSFT wouldn't be happy to
>>> simply counter Google's move and add another sponsored person
>>> of their own to the TAG?
>>>
>>
>> They can't just add people to the TAG. People are elected to the TAG so
>> they are required to campaign as individuals to be elected. As I've
>> explained, and as Alex has explained, there is no real motivation for
>> corporations to join the TAG: the TAG has no real power (beyond the respect
>> that the people on it have in the community). People join the TAG out of
>> passion and time in an effort to try to convince others that they should be
>> doing things in a particular way. But they cannot force anyone at the W3C
>> to do anything because the TAG has no real power.
>>
>>  Why couldn't Mozilla do that, too? There
>>> is no universal +1 problem. Every vendor can afford to have another
>>> employee dedicated to TAG. It's well within their means. I'm
>>> just trying to understand why would anyone assume that Google
>>> or some other vendor could have an unfair advantage?
>>>
>>
>> They can't - because it would make no difference. As Charles explained,
>> this view is overly simplistic (i.e., there are far more clever ways to
>> play the standards game than simply stacking a group with people from a
>> company). Even if you stack a working group, it doesn't actually achieve
>> anything. W3C recommendations are just "recommendations" - and no one is
>> forced to implement any recommendation. There are lots of recommendations
>> the W3C makes that are ignored by the Web community (or are only used by a
>> small group of organizations).
>>
>>  I say let Google have 10 or 15 people there. MSFT will do the same.
>>> And Mozilla, too. I bet that they too could afford it if they had
>>> to. And that would be good news for the TAG and the web. But the sad
>>> news is that there aren't 15 people who are both talented enough
>>> and can get along with each other.
>>>
>>
>> This is not true. The Web Apps Working Group is a massive group that
>> works extremely well and pumps out most of the core web platform. The same
>> with the WHATWG - that's a massive group that collaborates extremely well
>> with its members (sometimes not so well with external groups). The RICG is
>> another example of a large group of extremely talented individuals that
>> work work effectively together.
>>
>>  If anything this discussion
>>> demonstrates just that. So I think realistically if you allow
>>> 2 per each vendor then each vendor will be happy to contribute
>>> 2 and the web will be far happier for it.
>>>
>>
>> I don't think it will change much, tbh. It just won't be as disruptive
>> and will allow people to serve out their full term.
>>
>>  The important thing is to keep thinking about the deeper issue:
>>> how the browser mark is not designed to scale (2-3 big vendors
>>> and no one else with a major share) It's a classical monopoly market.
>>>
>>
>> Let's not open this can of worms. I'll just say that W3C members are free
>> to standardize whatever they want (and they do!) - so the outputs of the
>> W3C are not just targeted at browser vendors.
>>
>>  Don't worry about Google dominating MSFT via the TAG. They've
>>> spent billions doing that and are doing that with the full force
>>> of their resources. One more guy on the TAG is not a means to tip
>>> the balance. It'd be like trying to lift an elephant with a tooth
>>> pick as lever.
>>>
>>
>> More elephants! Yay! :D
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
Received on Thursday, 17 July 2014 20:34:50 UTC

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