From HTML WG Wiki
This FAQ is intended to help smooth the HTML5 Last Call transition process.
Q. What is a Formal Objection?
A. A Formal Objections is a signal that you want the W3C Director to consider your strong disagreement with a Working Group decision. Please note that the first time that the Director reviews Formal Objections is in the request from the Working Group to advance to Candidate Recommendation. That is: the Director is not obligated to review Formal Objections as part of the Last Call process. However, those made before or during Last Call are preserved by the group (provided the spec remain the same and the issue still applies) and brought to the Director's attention at Candidate Recommendation time.
Q. Can I indicate that I'm dissatisfied without making a Formal Objection?
A. Yes, and that is a useful part of the public record. However, unless you make a Formal Objection, your comment will not receive Director attention.
Q. Do Formal Objections remain Formal Objections forever?
A. They may. However, if discussion between the party raising the Formal Objection and the Director causes them to reach agreement, the Formal Objection evaporates.
Q. How do I tell the group/Director I am making a Formal Objection?
A. To avoid any risk of misunderstanding, please include in your communications with the Working Group the phrase: "This is a Formal Objection." Also, unless your message is archived in public-html or in public-html-comments, your message is likely to be ignored.
Q. What information should I provide in my Formal Objection?
- Reference the decision that is being objected
- Clearly state substantive arguments or rationale for your objection
- Whenever possible, cite technical arguments and propose changes that would remove the Formal Objection
Q. When will I learn whether my Formal Objection was sustained or overruled?
A. When W3C announces the decision to publish a Candidate Recommendation (or at any later transition namely Proposed Recommendation or Recommendation).