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RE: And the DTD says, "I'm NOT dead yet!!"
- From: Ann Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Arjun Ray <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 11:20:37 -0500
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