WOWG: Handling Last Call Comments

Handling LC comments.

WOWG members, we know the below seems complex and overly 
bureaucratic, but it is important we are very careful in handling LC 
comments, even ones that may seem flippant, meaningless or just plain 

Part I - for ALL members of the WG (editors and non-editors alike):

Please remember that all discussion on this list about the comments 
is public -- and accessible by the person raising the comment - so 
try to remain polite at all times.  (If this seems impossible, please 
let Guus or Jim know, and we'll help).  At all costs you should NOT 
debate anyone on the list -- i.e. if someone says "you idiots should 
have done X instead of Y,"  our response is "thanks," not "but Y 
would destroy civilization as we know it" -- even if the latter is 

If you get really frustrated, try writing a humorous play that you 
can mail to the WG if we eventually become a recommendation  :->

Everyone is welcome to read the public-webont-comments list, but if 
you aren't an editor, chair, or team contact, please don't respond.

Part II - For Document Editors

At least one editor of each LC document should be reading 
public-webont-comments on a regular basis.  When a message comes that 
clearly addresses the document you edited (and not other documents) 
you should do one of the following

1 - if you can respond to the comment by POLITELY pointing out that 
it is already answered in your document (or another one) and citing 
the appropriate quotes, then you can answer it by yourself.  Point 
the sections out to the comment raiser, and ask if that answers the 
question.  If the person agrees it does, send them a final "thanks 
for having asked" and make sure that one has the tag [closed] at the 
beginning of the subject line.

2 - if you think you can handle the comment yourself by doing an 
editing change in your document, you should send mail to the WG list 
saying proposing how you would do so.  Once Guus or Jim responds that 
this is okay, then you should proceed as above (polite email 
explaining change, asking if it is okay, responding with "[closed]" 
message), and can also make the change in your new editors draft.  Do 
NOT make such changes until you hear from one of the chairs.  (We may 
relax this step later on, but for now we're taking the conservative 

3 - if you think the comment is actually something that needs the WG 
to discuss (i.e. anything that would be exposed in a test case and/or 
require changes to multiple documents), send the pointer to the email 
to the WG and request that Guus and Jim open the issue and add it to 
a telecon agenda.  The chairs will then do the polite response to the 
issue raiser and explanation that an issue will be opened, will track 
it, and will action someone to send the [closed] message at a later 

If the message seems to discuss numerous documents, or it isn't clear 
which document it addresses, you can either send it to the WG with a 
recommendation about who does what, or do nothing and let one of the 
chairs figure this out.

  In some cases, the chairs may respond to some messages about the 
documents sooner than the editor does.  In that case, we will respond 
in the public-webont-comments list - so you should look to see if a 
message is already answered before you respond.  If it is already 
tagged [closed] and you think that was a mistake, discuss it on the 
WG list, NOT on the public comments list.

  1 - Guus and Jim will be trying several different tools for tracking 
the comments.  Once we figure out a workable method, we may change 
some of the above.
  2 - Dan Connolly, in his role as team contact, is the "enforcer" on 
this stuff.  If any of us do something wrong, he is entitled -- nay, 
required -- to let us know and to fix it.  If he sends mail to the 
public list that seems to change or amplify something you said, 
assume it is for good reason and do NOT argue on that list.
  3 - please be careful to use the [closed] tag appropriately - 
several of the tools we are trying use that tag in helping to 
organize the comments and responses.

Again, we know this stuff is a pain, but we need to be very careful 
in handling this phase, as we must successfully respond to every 
comment we get, no matter how petty or misguided it may seem.
  -Jim and Guus
p.s. Note that some of the early comment handling on the public list 
does not model the above, this is becausethe chairs are new at this 
also.  We welcome your feedback on handling this stuff now and as we 
go along.

Professor James Hendler
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-731-3822 (Cell)

Received on Thursday, 3 April 2003 13:46:39 UTC