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   Fwd: Comments on "W3C Process getting bumpy?"

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: XML-Dev Mailing list <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 17:20:14 -0400

An official response, for folks who are interested.

(Yes, Ian said I could share this publicly.)

>Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 17:11:03 -0400
>From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
>Organization: W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
>To: simonstl@simonstl.com
>CC: ij@w3.org, w3t-comm@w3.org
>Subject: Comments on "W3C Process getting bumpy?"
>Hi Simon,
>I would like to address your comments on
>"W3C Process getting bumpy?" [1], [2]. In the first email, you wrote:
>> In writing it, I found that DOM Level 2 is now a Candidate Recommendation 
>> with no closing date ('coordination issues'), while the latest drafts of 
>> both P3P and XML-Signature are no longer Last Call, but are expected to 
>> move on quickly to CR status. 
>> It doesn't feel like the smooth progression described in the process 
>> report. I realize that reality is rarely smooth, but it seems like a lot 
>> for a day or two's news. 
>The 10 May DOM CR document doesn't specify an end date for
>the CR review period. This is indeed inconsistent with the requirement
>of the 11 November 1999 Process Document [4], which states
>"The duration is specified as part of the request for advancement. 
>The duration may range from zero delay (skipped) to one year."
>(Actually, one could argue that since the status section doesn't
>specify a duration, the default is one year. But that's a
>generous interpretation.)
>So strictly speaking, there's a bug in the DOM 2's status
>section w.r.t. the process. And yet, it doesn't seem like a crime
>since they explain what they're trying to do:
>   "A coordination issue has arisen, which necessitates 
>    an extended Candidate Recommendation phase. It will 
>    end when the coordination issue is resolved."
>This is unfortunately more than vague about the precise issue,
>but there are probably reasons why the Working Group chose to
>say so little. Not specifying an end date is consistent with a 
>movement towards changing the exit condition process for CR. One of 
>the proposed changes to the Process Document is that
>the WG be required to specify CR exit conditions, and that they should
>only advance once they've satisfied them. In this case, there
>is no requirement to specify the duration of the CR implementation 
>period; you are done when you've met your goals. Of course, it's
>desirable to suggest a duration for the purposes of setting
>allowing other Working Groups to schedule their work, etc.
>W3C doesn't publish a new Process Document every day (actually,
>the Process Document is republished about every six months) and to 
>the extent possible, we try to make changes to the Document based on 
>experience. In this case, our internal process is changing, but 
>the Process Document has not been reissued yet to reflect that 
>evolution. In fact, I'm revising the document as we speak. 
>I would also note that there is nothing wrong with intervening
>Working Drafts between a last call Working Draft and a
>Candidate Recommendation. Section 6.2.2 of the 11 November Process
>Document [5] says:
>  "Once the last call period has ended, all issues raised during the 
>  last call period resolved, and the Working Draft modified if 
>  necessary, the Working Group may request that the Director submit
>  the document for review by the Advisory Committee as a Candidate
>  Recommendation. It is possible that comments will cause 
>  substantive changes that require that the document return to
>  Working Draft status before being advanced to Last Call again."
>Nothing forbids the Working Group from publishing a revision of the
>last call Working Draft to take into account changes made as a result
>of last call review. A Working Draft is a Working Draft, and the
>Working Group can update a Working Draft as often as it wishes. The 
>rubber hits the road when the Working Group asks to advance to CR. If 
>the Working Group has not addressed last call comments and not
>objections, or if changes have been substantial, the Director may
>require that the Working Group go through last call again. There
>is obviously some artistry required of the Chair to determine 
>(and report to the Director) which changes the Working Group considers
>minor and which they consider major. I think publishing an intervening
>document (as the XML Signature WG did [6]) is good form, in fact,
>since it allows people to track the process the Working Group has
>made in the resolution of issues raised publicly.
>Feel free to share my comments publicly. I would like to emphasize
>that the proposal to change CR exit status has not yet been reviewed
>(or fleshed out0 within W3C and there is no guarantee that it will
>become part of the official process. 
>I hope this helps. If you feel I've not addressed your comments,
>please let me know.
>Thank you,
> - Ian
>[1] http://www.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/2000/05/0302.html
>[2] http://www.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/2000/05/0304.html
>[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/CR-DOM-Level-2-20000510
>[4] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process/Process-19991111/tr.html#RecsCR
>[6] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/WD-xmldsig-core-20000510/
>Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
>Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
>Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783

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