Initial Meeting of "New Standards" Task Force
07 Jun 2010


See also: IRC log


Present: Ian Jacobs (Chair), Dominique Hazael-Massieux (Scribe), Thomas Roessler, Larry Rosen, Eran Hammer-Lahav, Andy Updegrove, Harry Halpin, Ralph Swick, Karl Dubost

Regrets: Dan Appelquist, Art Barstow, Mike Champion, Molly Holzschlag, Charles McCathieNevile, Arun Ranganathan, Yesha Sivan


The meeting was largely an introduction to the project. We did not yet assign actions items. Ian will:

Meanwhile, participants are urged to send suggested candidate specifications to the list so that we can begin to identify use cases, barriers, and value propositions.


<Ralph> [introductions around the vir-table]

<hhalpin> Harry: Social Web XG, Semantic Web, interested, re-dialing back in

IanJ: I'm interested in other suggestions for possible contributors to this task force

<Ian> http://www.w3.org/2010/Talks/ij-newstd-201005/

IanJ: expect we're going to work completely in public - starting with the minutes of this meeting
... [going through slides presenting the task force]

<hhalpin> +1 office in silicon valley

<Ian> http://www.w3.org/2010/04/w3c-vision-public/wiki/NewStdWork

IanJ: public mailing list, public wiki; interested in hearing about rhythm
... was thinking of a weekly phone meeting
... no F2F scheduled

<Zakim> karl, you wanted to ask how many processes versus how many tools thinking about the hacking communities. and to ask local communities, local chapters, (pechakucha, ted, lift,

Karl: you mentioned "several processes" in your slide
... we often hear that W3C has too much process
... and that the existing process isn't even followed
... and that as result, the quality of the work depends on the people
... so my thinking was that instead of thinking of processes, we should think in terms of tools
... for instance, the WhatWG grew based on unwritten rules
... when something went wrong, they created a tool to address the source of the problem, trying to ensure it doesn't happen again
... it might be an interesting idea to look at

<hhalpin> http://www.w3.org/2010/03/openw3c

Harry: I wanted to bring the attention of everyone to a document I worked on with Ian
... http://www.w3.org/2010/03/openw3c
... I would like us to brainstorm on concrete suggestions

<Ian> http://www.w3.org/2010/04/w3c-vision-public/wiki/Newstd#References

Harry: see also Dan Appelquist's outpost proposal

<Ian> http://www.w3.org/2010/03/outposts-proposal-snapshot.html

Harry: I would like us to flesh out the top 5 or 10 changes that are needed

IanJ: one of the ideas is to step back and look at the bigger question of what people want to do at a standards body
... at what point additional constraints bring value
... I think this would help identify what incubation would add to W3C, how we can liaise with other organizations
... we also wanted to make it easy to go through the process if you already satisfy the needed constraints
... Harry, Dan and others have suggested ideas - but I'd like to look at them in the context of the big pictures
... I also want to make sure we go out and talk to people that are working on specs
... trying to figure out what these people might need
... we need to identify these spec developers

<lrosen> did you talk already about scope of specifications?

IanJ: we have other task forces whose focus will be more on scope
... this task force focuses more on how things get here
... the other task forces will look at how these new works get prioritarized
... that said, up-front criteria of moving to Rec track would be useful for the community
... in our current incubators, half of the specs have moved to Rec track

Larry: I've been working with the Open Web Foundation
... we've worked on a set of agreements that are suitable for standard-setting groups that do not have an upfront scope
... to allow to develop specs in a low-impact way
... they don't even really know what they're developing
... how far in that direction are you thinking to go?

IanJ: I don't want to prejudice of the outcome; interested in opinions

Andy: if things are going to happen anyway,
... although I'm not very involved in the current W3C's vision,
... personally, I think it may as well to bring it to existing organizations with expertise in the area
... a bit like what happened with the Web services specs - developed first ad-hoc, and then brought to W3C and OASIS

<karl> (If I want to create a piece of technology or I want to solve an interoperability issues, all the tools (wiki, mailing-lists, skype, etc.) are available. The question is then "Why should I work in the W3C cafe?")

karl: w3c started when collaborating wasn't that easy

<Ian> [Karl evokes the question "What value does w3c bring?"

karl: the Web can be used easily for collaboration nowadays
... it makes W3C much less useful as a collaboration platform

<Ian> value proposition -> http://www.w3.org/2010/04/w3c-vision-public/wiki/Newstd#Value_Added_By_W3C

karl: so, why should someone work in W3C for its piece of technology?
... what's the value?
... is the problem barriers, or is the problem the lack of attraction?

IanJ: I think we need to look both a lowering barriers, and to an articulated value proposition
... fwiw, I don't think our value proposition is rooted in tooling
... it's rooted in communities, patent policy, etc

Larry: a couple of good things about W3C values
... in OWF, we're struggling to find the number of commitments companies have to make to participate

<hhalpin> however, a good open source tool-set that the wider community maintains would be great and help take stress from the Systesm Team

Larry: in terms of disclosures, patent commitments, copyright contributions re-use without permissions or depending on the success of a process

<karl> (company and individuals frictions)

Larry: W3C brings a kind of regularity in terms of process

<Ian> lrosen: W3C brings" regularity" to the processs...but engineers think of that as barriers

Larry: the challenge is to find the bridge between developing ideas, and making commitments

IanJ: there is a split between "lightweight, no company commitment" to "we need company commitments"
... does that match others' view of the world?
... when things get serious, lawyers need to get involved
... (also, PR considerations, deployment questions, ...)

Larry: I don't know what developers fear about the "process"
... the non-easy process
... W3C apparently imposes a great deal of overhead

<karl> does the work need to happen at w3c to be w3c quality, under w3c rf, etc? (thinking out loud about mobile, portable process)

Larry: and it occurs before the ideas get a chance to percolate
... I agree it's likely that serious patents are likely to affect things in this space
... what we would want is at least ensuring that people coming to an effort come in good faith
... with some form of disclosure commitment, some form of patent commitment
... and they want to have people like me stay out of the way

<karl> (instead of swallowing everything, distributing w3c everywhere. Ted model, Pecha Kucha model)

Larry: i.e. they don't want to need involvement from the legal counsel

IanJ: so we want to minimize the commitments, and explain the importance of the commitments we want to keep
... e.g. with examples of problems if not keeping these commitments

Ralph: I think Andy and Larry are hitting an important point
... I think there is a set of raw-coders developers for whom anything but the code is a distraction
... they don't want to deal with these distractions
... I would like to see what W3C can reasonably bring to that end of the spectrum
... while keeping our ability to address our current end of spectrum, with clear IPR rules
... one question is: do we believe that the end result always need to be an open standard, implementable on an RF basis?

IanJ: I think the OWF experience will be informative here
... I think we might need another week before splitting into task forces

<Ralph> [Ralph departs]

Harry: I don't think tooling is one of our strong points - although open sourcing our tools would help along that line

<karl> (W3C toolkit: How do I create w3c in my own city? :)))

Harry: we need to be careful about naming

<Ian> Harry: I think we should be wide open on what we accept.

Harry: terms such as "specs", "incubation", etc

<Ian> Harry: We should do surveys...

Harry: e.g. the word "outpost" didn't get a lot of feedback

<Ian> Harry: People are working on "specs"

Harry: fundamentally, people are working on specs - with different level of consensus

Larry: it's not just the IPR policy - it's really the scope of the project

<Ian> lrosen: Not just IPR policy; it is the scope of the project ... companies need to understand scope.

Larry: companies often need to know about the scope before allowing their engineers to get involved

Eran: to me, the biggest value of the W3C (and similarly to the IETF) is the built-in community
... with their technical expertise, also for spec-writing

<lrosen> one more comment: "Pay to play" is a disincentive.

Eran: it gives much better technologies - more solid and well thoughts documents
... over the past year and a half, I've moved most of my work to IETF
... because the open community is frustrating in the time needed to get feedback on drafts
... having these people available is one of the biggest selling point of W3C
... most of my recent work has been targeting protocols, which is traditionally in the IETF realm
... in terms of what work that needs to look at:
... * free participation - it's very expensive (the invited expert model doesn't scale, doesn't let unknown people to join)
... meetings, events, workshop raise the bar in terms of engagement, esp. with the very big acamedic presence in W3C
... membership and participation model are in desperate need of revision
... obviously this opens the question of sustainibility
... * on the legal front, I did a 180° change of heart on that space
... I've come to the conclusion that it's not that important

<Ian> Eran: Better to protect against bad actors

Eran: I think the goal should be to protect against bad actors
... avoid manipulation
... lack of IPR protection hasn't been actually a big problem in IETF
... some companies have made it clear they would charge for a spec - and that has been accepted
... we're still pretty new at that game - only 15 years
... I'd like a much more lightweight process
... with no involvement from lawyer
... not a perfect protection, but a good enough attempt at good faith
... probably as a complement of the existing process - no need to throw out what is already working for companies in W3C

<Ian> Eran: "Giving an option"

<Ian> ...find some low-hanging fruit specs to work with

<hhalpin> +1 looking for low-hanging fruit.

Eran: I would see that as proposing it as option, and let the market which option works better

<hhalpin> Hmmm...thinking of ostatus network in social web world

<Ian> Eran: I think "incubator" is confusing

Eran: btw, "incubator" is a very confusing word - not even experimental, brainstorming
... telling people that are working on specs that they are incubating - not very productive

<lrosen> "skunk works"

Eran: a lightweight WG environment would be the ideal solution
... it would combine the great W3C community with a less foolproof, more lightweight approach

<hhalpin> notes that this is also what we've heard re people's take on the word "incubator" and "outpost"

Eran: for things where the full IPR protection might not be useful
... * my third points: tools!

IanJ: note that both OWF and Apache are using the word "incubation"
... but apparently we need a better name

<hhalpin> thinks "incubator" makes people think of code for some reason

<Ian> http://www.w3.org/2010/04/w3c-vision-public/wiki/NewStdWork

IanJ: one open questions: what orgs/individuals should we involve?

<Ian> public-vision-newstd@w3.org

IanJ: please send to the list
... preferably public list, or to me if you don't feel like sharing in public
... another question: opportunity to interact with these people?
... e.g. a social web conf next month in SF
... what fora should we be talking people with about this?
... I had hoped to break down work in task forces:
... - interviews and use cases
... Karl, you mentioned the WhatWG process based on tools
... I prefer avoiding complicating process, simplifying along the way
... We'll see about tasks force creations till next week

<tlr> wfm

<lrosen> I'm out of the country for 1 week starting tonight.

<Ian> * interview: list of questions? candidates?

<Ian> * use case: list of requirements (to be augmented by interviews)

<Ian> * barriers: list of perceived barriers

<hhalpin> Wondering if Ian meant Web 2.0 summit

<hhalpin> http://www.web2summit.com/web2010

<hhalpin> ah, ok

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$Date: 2010/06/08 20:35:09 $