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Re: WOWG: Consensus, subgroups, and e-mail tags

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 12:10:36 -0500
To: jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Cc: www-webont-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <20020301121036V.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Subject: WOWG: Consensus, subgroups, and e-mail tags
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 16:44:22 -0000


> The expectation is that only those working group members who are involved in
> that focus area will read such messages. 

I think that you have this exactly the wrong way around.  I think that the
very strong expectation is that all working group members who are involved
in a focus group will read, and understand, all messages with their focus
group tag.  As well, other working group members are encouraged to read
messages from other focus groups.

> After a focus subgroup has reached
> a consensus amongst themselves they will need to ensure that the rest of the
> working group shares that consensus. This can be done, in the first
> instance, by sending e-mail tagged for the whole group, which summarizes:
> + the issue,
> + the choice space,
> + the subgroup opinion,
> + the reasons for that opinion
> + and points to the thread(s) of discussion
> as needed we can then have time in the main telecon to discuss the issue
> further.

I worry that this will place a large burden on the focus groups and delay
the working group's progress considerably.  Something like this may be
necessary, but I really don't want to delay discussion of important points
by the two weeks that I see that the generation of such messages will often


> I suggest the following e-mail tags:
> WOWG  (whole group)
> and continued use of the ADMIN tag.
> Part of this proposal is that messages to WOWG should be fairly well thought
> through, since with 50 readers and one writer it is better for the writer to
> spend time, rather than fifty readers. Messages to the subgroups, with only
> a few readers, can be much more slapdash, and still be a cost effective use
> of time.

I agree that the group should not have to read large flurries of sloppy
messages, but I worry that this sort of comment will cause group members to
not post, resulting in delays later on in the process.

> The tags could be reduced to their first letter if people prefer.

Please not.  I think that we should not be in the business of making our
messages unnecessarily cryptic.

A better solution, but unfortunately one probably not supported by mail
readers, would be to use a separate header tag for the purpose of showing
the minimum audience of an email message.


> Other tags could also be used, like JOKE or MISC with the expectation that
> noone will necessarily read it.

I strongly suggest that the working group strongly discourage off-topic
messages, particularly those that will not be read.  

> Jeremy

Received on Friday, 1 March 2002 12:11:51 UTC

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