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RE: And the DTD says, "I'm NOT dead yet!!"

At 11:34 PM 1/11/01, Arjun Ray wrote:


> >> The major investment my company makes in W3C is the large amounts
> >> of time good people spend trying to work towards W3C
> >> Recommendations. [We] have spent good chunks of the last year on
> >> namespaces, as have many others on the XML WG.  If the W3C team can
> >> veto WG work and replace it with their own, I question why my
> >> company should invest more time in developing W3C recommendations.
> >
> >Veto? I'm a member of the WG; as such, I can propose things, no?
> >
> >Also, I'm the staff contact, which gives me the responsiblity
> >to liase with the other W3C working groups etc. via the
> >director and staff.
> >
>Perhaps [he] was referring to the earlier mail from TB-L which stated
>what the XML WG will be working on in the future and it doesn't matter
>whether the WG agrees with it or not.
>That certainly seems to [our company] as if "the W3C team can veto WG
>work and replace it with their own." We absolutely agree with [him].

At issue is the definition of the staff contact's role. I'm having 
difficulty locating the current process document, and the definition of the 
role of the staff-contact that I've found so far is behind the member-only 
screen. However, it is fair to say that the staff contact is indeed a 
liason role between the WG and the Coordination Groups and W3C management. 
I disagree with the assertion (based on that description of the role) that 
they are a de facto "member of the Working Group" and have "voting rights" 
(since voting, per se, is not done -- it's consensus building, with Schema 
being a somewhat unique interpretation of that process).

Now, within CG meetings, that's generally chairs of working groups and the 
domain leader (sometimes staff contacts, and others), and there's supposed 
to be consensus building there as well.

When it gets to discussion within the management team we have to look at it 

Who does the President confer with on most matters? His senior policy 
advisors. Who are the equivilant to senior policy advisors at the W3C? The 
staff. There is the *opportunity* for someone in one of those positions to 
exert pressure for one direction or another. Who's opinion does the 
President know and trust? the Senior Domestic Policy Advisor or the 
sub-committee at the OMB on freeway toll planning ? He takes the 
committee's input, runs it  past his senior advisor, and makes a decision 
-- then puts it "to the floor" so to speak, for the membership vote.

For some of these folks, they remember the time where the W3C didn't have 
WGs, and the staff essentially designed the technology with ratification 
from the membership. From behaviors, some appear to yearn for the "good old 

However, no matter how much a WG believes it's position is correct, if the 
CG doesn't believe so, and the staff doesn't think so, it's highly unlikely 
that the position will be forwarded to the membership by the director.

See Three Namespaces for XHTML, et al.

Ann (speaking only for herself)

Chief Geek, WebGeek Inc.
Now in print! XHTML By Example