New Standards Vision Task Force Teleconference

26 Jul 2010


See also: IRC log


Larry, Michael, Harry, DanA, Eduardo, Ian, Eran

Regrets: Dom


<trackbot> Date: 26 July 2010

ab discussion


a) Learn about external work and connect with new communities

b) Help those communities begin work at w3c.

c) How those communities standardize work at w3c

Dan: I would like messaging to emphasize "how w3c can help those communities"
... rather than "help them begin work at w3c"

<hhalpin> Also, messaging needs to be aimed at non-members in particular, there is the feeling that W3C is a membership-only club.

Dan: the end goal is not getting work at w3c, it's getting more work done
... When I was at this meeting last week, I emphasized "How can W3C help by creating a home for a spec" or "by facilitating"
... Need to make clear what value proposition is and easier and more transparent to do the work in w3c.
... it's about facilitating

<lrosen> when they said people were shopping for a venue, what do they shop for?

DA: ..because w3c has these benefits, why they should come

Mike: I wouldn't disagree about the messaging, but we are trying to adapt w3c to be a better place...we are listening to what people have said about W3C,

<DKA> +1

Mike: ...and want to minimize obstacles and maximize value.

harry: I want to reinforce the fact that we need to be sure we are listening to non-members in particular.

hhalpin: For instance, there's a request for "how to make a standard" video

<hhalpin> like the "how to make a bill" spec

<hhalpin> I think people inside the W3C have no idea how opaque the process seems from the outside.

proposals, schedule

mid-august "mind meld" in Boston


Description. What is the proposal?

Rationale. What is the benefit for the organization in

implementing this recommendation?

Cost. What (if any) is the incremental cost to W3C to implement

the recommendation? Is there a natural way to diminish the cost by

refocusing existing people (i.e. reprioritization)?

Financial benefit. What (if any) income arises to W3C as a

consequence of the proposal?

Decision body. What is the most natural place for the proposal to

be approved/decided? Director? CEO? W3M? AB? AC? other?

Status and schedule. What is the level of maturity of the

proposal. Can it be thought of as reasonably complete? If it is

immature, what is the schedule to complete the proposal?


<hhalpin> When precisely do we need proposals in more or less final form? Sorry...missed that.

<hhalpin> The beginnings of proposals on the 16th of August.

dan action item:


<hhalpin> +1

<DKA> +1

-> http://ostatus.org/ OStatus

<EHL> +1

<DKA> http://ostatus.org/

"OStatus is an open standard for distributed status updates. Our goal is a specification that allows different messaging hubs to route status updates between users in near-real-time-


<hhalpin> it's a sort of architecture from other standards: ActivityStreams, PortableContacts, PUSH...

DKA: Something of an umbrella spec to allow federation of social networking.
... hot topic in social web space.
... work of mostly some folks at statusnet
... (software behind identi.ca)

<hhalpin> However, do note that the standards that OStatus rely upon come mostly out of the San Francisco Open Web Foundation folks.

<DKA> [LRDD] Hammer-Lahav, E., “Link-based Resource Descriptor Discovery,” March 2010.

<DKA> [RFC2119] Bradner, S., “Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels,” BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997 (TXT, HTML, XML).

<DKA> [RFC4287] Nottingham, M., Ed. and R. Sayre, Ed., “The Atom Syndication Format,” RFC 4287, December 2005 (TXT, HTML, XML).

<DKA> [RFC4685] Snell, J., “Atom Threading Extensions,” RFC 4685, September 2006 (TXT).

<DKA> [Webfinger] “the WebFinger protocol.”

<DKA> [activitiesinatom] Atkins, M., Recordon, D., Messina, C., Keller, M., Steinberg, A., and R. Dolin, “Atom Activity Extensions (Draft),” March 2010.

<DKA> [activityschema] Atkins, M., Recordon, D., Messina, C., Keller, M., Steinberg, A., and R. Dolin, “Atom Activity Base Schema (Draft),” March 2010.

<DKA> [georss] “GeoRSS-Simple.”

<DKA> [poco] Smarr, J., “Portable Contacts 1.0 Draft C,” August 2008.

<DKA> [push] Fitzpatrick, B., Slatkin, B., and M. Atkins, “PubSubHubbub Core 0.3 -- Working Draft,” February 2010.

<DKA> [salmon] Panzer, J., “The Salmon Protocol,” February 2010.

Dan: They want to find a home for ostatus.
... To that, we need the lighter-weight process.
... So this is a concrete use case.
... I also had a discussion about webfinger
... lots of good will.

<hhalpin> I think EHL would have some things to say about webfinger.

mike: one question - what specifically is keeping them from using the classic track or the current XG?

Dan: Mostly the member model

<hhalpin> +1

[some non-members interested]

<hhalpin> *most* of the community are non-members...

Dan: The perception on the patent policy is the opposite - it's perceived to be a value.
... There is a value to having something to an organization like w3c; more than just three companies pushing a technology

Mike: I agree the pat pol is seen as desirable due to the output, but it's a process issue - if you work for a member --- corporate commitment

IJ: +1 to working with people with concrete needs; we won't have it right away.

Dan: We need "better than our current incubator"

IJ: Better than zero cost to participate, lightweight commitments?

hhalpin: one of the things that's important...it's not just three people in a garage...these technologies have a lot of mindshare in the (non-W3C) world
... need to rethink the term "incubator"

(since things may be mature or deployed)

<hhalpin> And this is likely the case for many other technology spaces outside the W3C, ala Cloud computing as well by looking at recent Rackspace announcements etc.

<hhalpin> it's not just the Social Web space stuff.

<hhalpin> The XG activity I think still appeals mostly to current members, not developers outside the W3C and non-members.

IJ: I think we can experiment (even between now and November)
... but need to find right balance so that we're not "using it already"

Dan: One problem with current incubator activity is lack of IPR commitment.

Eduardo1: I think we are talking about something very different from the current incubator activity.

<hhalpin> +1 "Community Group" term.

Eduardo1: I think we are talking about something called a "community group" (or similar)

<DKA> +1 to that.

Eduardo1: so I think it's a mistake to consider it as an evolution from the incubator activity

<DKA> -1 to pushing back

<DKA> :)

<hhalpin> XGs are most useful for doing landscape reports from my experience, not long-running community driven-spec processes.

<hhalpin> And we also need a clear way of moving community-driven specs to full-IPR Recs.

<hhalpin> A lot of the community driven-spec stuff is also developer focused, test-cases, sort of stuff not usually done in XGs.

IJ: What commitments do you need/expect in a community group?

Eduardo1: It would be much easier to get some kind of commitment in a community group; they do want IPR commitment

lrosen: I'm trying to understand the deeper philosophy about what people get out of w3c.

<DKA> Idea: We should explore the idea of "individual commitment" and how "individual commitments" can be used to start work and then can be "commuted" to organizational commitments as the work goes on...

lrosen: the thing I like the most is "Zakim" ; the infrastructure to include people from all over the world, someone taking notes, etc.

<DKA> :)

hhalpin: There's a lot of code-driven experimentation; this experimentation might take a while, but at some point it might stabilize and they want ipr commitments
... and they want a clear path.

<DKA> Do agree that "community groups" should have clear chartered deliverables.

<DKA> (which have IPR commitments)


<hhalpin> A community group might want to just experiment in a topic or space for a while and then deliver a charter later possibly, I'd think.

<Zakim> Ian, you wanted to talk about individual commitments

IJ: For some people, even individual commitment problematic (w.r.t. their companies)

EG: I did propose a gradual commitment (length of commitment)..the might be workable

<DKA> http://www.w3.org/2010/03/outposts-proposal-snapshot.html#how-to-start-an-outpost

IJ: Another issue is open copyright in community group then more restrictive on rec track.

lrosen: Not w3c's worry whether something is a firing offense in a given company
... "All contributions are voluntary". If something does something that's problematic, you can't un-ring the bell, but you are in an ethical position that you are not going to force people to make contributions against their will.
... If a company or individuals want to join a group, it's because they see value in the standard.
... and if they see enough value, they can make their own evaluation about how much resources to invest

IJ: we also shouldn't impose costs without considering

DKA: I like community group, comparing with other tracks.
... progressive commitments might have legs

<hhalpin> +1 progressive, discovering a process of moving from individual to organization commitments.

DKA: you have a pathway that leads to organizational commitments.
... so you don't have to wait.

IJ: Dan, how should we get the ostatus, webfinger folks to come along for the ride.

hhalpin: +1 to trying an experiment, seeing how it works.

<hhalpin> Nov. is not toooo far away, especially if an outline/draft is sent around to AC/AB asap.

<lrosen> who is [Microsoft]


see slide 10


lrosen: on the revenue model...I'm concerned about charge per individual...but I'm not sure that it's unreasonable to charge on a per-project basis.
... might even be a graduated scale.

<hhalpin> ah that's an interesting proposal...

lrosen: so that you price it according to infrastructure devoted to the effort

IJ: Should we set up an experiment where a couple of communities can use some new community group structure BEFORE going to the AC in November?

lrosen: I want to add another revenue idea

hhalpin: Regarding the experiment, we'd also, of course, have to see whether the people in the community would be interested.

EHL: I think there's a significant cost to experimenting.
... could show people tools and let them experiment with them, that's one thing.
... but if you are asking from them to give time and energy to trying something out, I don't know that many communities will have the bandwidth.
... in some cases, webfinger, e.g., bulk of technical work is done elsewhere.
... they are consolidating work from other places.

IJ: Then what's the appeal of W3C?

EHL: These communities are looking for a more formal place to do work, reach wider audience.
... but they may not realize that doing this may create more work for them.
... some people may want basic infrastructure and tools, in the end they may not care about IPR (just lip service you pay since you have to)
... When OWF started, one group that showed up was ostatus (then open microblogging)...and their sentiment was "just tell us how to do it so we don't have to worry about X, Y, Z"
... my sense was that they wanted to hand it off more than their own active involvement.
... governance questions don't come up that often...usually a strong person controls the process.
... they might have questions about how to publish, how to get review, etc.

IJ: mentoring is part of w3c team

hhalpin: yes, point of the w3c staff is to get people through process, legal, comms.
... it's unhealthy to not care at all
... but we need to have realistic expectations about bandwidth to learn new things.
... and having a team to do this for you is what you are paying for.

EHL: if I were running a new effort, it doesn't help me as an individual..I still need to collect signatures.
... getting non-asserts is costly.

IJ: We moved burden of organization license commitment to membership

EHL: Once you impose the process, it raises its own challenges.
... one interesting point of friction recently on webfinger effort
... standards work is slow, and it is slow for a reason
... but people working on webfinger implementation at some point came out vocally against changes
... they had schedules and deliverables
... became contentious and the group is discussing a fork
... they have running code and care more about that than architectural consistency

lrosen: I want to distinguish between complicated process by which people come to terms with the spec they want from the administrative-level jobs like "who sets up the wiki, who points to the right publications, who makes sure they know how to use the irc bots"
... the later is value that the W3C provides
... but you can't tell people whether to fork or not

[discussion about where process and nature of work conflict]

EHL: Certain projects are easier to apply process to than others.
... for small projects, it may not be worth the process overhead
... the whole objective is so small, it's just getting a few people who are interested to agree.
... process may not make it any better.
... so there needs to be alignment between process you are using and the problem you are trying to solve.
... Infrastructure is important, but needs to be decoupled from process.
... and when it comes from the IPR stuff, I think it should evolve more organically
... For activity streams, nobody has signed any documents, but it's being adopted.
... HTML5 can change, and there may be lawsuits, but companies are still shipping

Mike: That's because of company RF commitments.

EHL: In reality, people care about the IPR stuff, but they don't really really care about...otherwise they would be more vigilant.

lrosen: Companies always make risk analyses
... with respect to patents, that's very definitely true

hhalpin: I agree with EHL in general, but I think it's probably incorrect to say "there are no patents in the social space"
... I think it can only help to make sure that technology that people depend on can be implemented in an RF manner.
... we don't want to kill innovation with a heavy-weight process
... but at some point, if we do honestly think that these technologies are important, we seem to have no choice but to work out licenses

lrosen: Company analyses of risks - they want to make sure that the companies that they are working with are going to create collectively an RF zone around the technology.
... they want to be sure their friends remain their friends.

Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2010/08/13 15:26:45 $