Charter Discussions 2008-05-21
Almost the entire 2008-05-21 meeting was a discussion of the module list that is not yet drafted for the charter. Several conflicting arguments were brought up. Here’s an unordered summary of points in the discussion.
- The criteria agreed upon for adding modules to the charter is significant implementation interest from at least two implementors and an advocate within the working group to drive spec editing.
- An item must be in scope for the charter for us to work on it, because companies want to be aware of any potential patent commitments they must make by participating.
- In the past the CSSWG has had a long list of modules in scope for the charter. Few of these make significant progress during the charter period.
- W3C Management is unhappy that the CSSWG hasn’t been completing all the work in its charter.
- Adobe is particularly uncomfortable with keeping all the modules in the charter list right now and threatened to resign if they were all kept. Patent commitments were a cited concern. Another was that the WG can’t finish everything on the proposed list in the 2-year charter period… (no explanation why this is itself a problem for Adobe outside the patent policy concern).
- Bert points out that patent policy has several points of entry and exit, one of which is the charter, another of which is the publication of a an official public Working Draft.
- The CSSWG charter is very precise about what is in scope. The scope can be argued to be broad by the number of modules, but it is not in any way ambiguous because all items proposed for the charter have a working draft already.
- HP’s representatives felt that items should not be cut from the charter in order to make the WG focus on high-priority items: that’s the job the chairs should be doing. The high-priority items should be explicitly identified as what the WG plans to deliver, and the medium priority items should be in scope but explicitly listed as to be worked on as time and resources allow.
- Things can be added to the charter by an amendment process. Adobe was advocating that only high-priority items be in the charter and others added as necessary via amendment.
- Mozilla expressed concern that if lower-priority items are forced out of the charter they will be worked on elsewhere (e.g. in the WHATWG).
- Apple wants to develop their proposed extensions through standardization discussions rather than by forging ahead on their own.
- Molly expressed concern that items that don’t make the charter won’t appear to the public to be on the WG’s radar. It was pointed out that the website has and will continue to have an exhaustive list.
The main conflict here seems to be whether
- items should be in scope of the charter if there is reasonable expectation of work being done on them, and charter amendments should be used only in unexpected circumstances
- or items should be in scope of the charter only if there is a firm commitment to work on them at this time, and the amendment process should be used more commonly to add things in as they gain priority.
The conclusion of the discussions was that the chairs should draft the module list section of the charter. Currently only the unedited summary of implementor feedback has been written.
Opera was not represented in these discussions. They also have not sent in any comments previously.
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