W3C Architecture DomainXMLMember-Confidential!

Common Procedures for XML Working Groups

[June 2004]

  1. Introduction
  2. Working Group Mailing List
  3. Group Home Page
  4. Voting procedure
  5. Minutes
  6. Substitute chair
  7. Plenary review of documents

1 Introduction

This document describes rules and procedures common to the Working Groups in the W3C XML Activity. Working Group charters may incorporate these rules by reference to this document; in case of conflict, rules specified in the Working Group charter take precedence over those given here. Where Working Group charter provisions supersede the provisions of this document, the Working Group charter should specifically note the difference to prevent confusion.

In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

2 Working Group Mailing List

Each Working Group uses archived mailing lists as follows:

  1. a Member-only mailing list for technical discussions and administrative matters;
  2. Public lists for comments on specifications and, where the Working Group feels it appropriate, for technical discussion.

The W3C Process requires that participants contribute to technical discussions in the group mailing list in order to retain good standing.

3 Group Home Page

Each Working Group has a Member-only home page which records the history of the group, provides access to the archives, meeting minutes, updated schedule of deliverables, participant list, and relevant documents and resources. It is maintained by the Team contact in collaboration with the Chair.

Each Working Group also has a public Home Page, maintained by the Team contact in collaboration with the Chair.

4 Voting procedure

Voting within Working Groups in the XML Activity shall follow the W3C process, with the following additional clarifications.

The approval of any question shall be by a Yes vote of two-thirds of the participants voting, provided that the Yes votes also constitute more than half of the total number of participaing organizations in good standing. Any participant eligible to vote may assign the exercise of their vote, either on a particular question or on all questions, to another Working Group participant by so notifying the Chair (i.e. voting by proxy is allowed).

Historical note: the XML Binary Characterization Working Group was chartered without this definition for a majority, and therefore will use a simple majority (half of the participating organizations) unless it is rechartered to conform with the policy given here. If that happens, this note will be removed.

In formal votes, normally only the whole number voting Yes, the whole number voting No, and the whole number of abstentions shall be recorded; the rationale for a No vote shall be recorded in the minutes on request of any participant voting No. However, any participant qualified to vote may, immediately following a vote, request a roll call vote; in this case, the Chair shall call upon each voting participant individually, and each person's vote shall be recorded.

Before a formal vote is taken (i.e. before or after the question is put, but before the voting result is announced by the chair), any participant eligible to vote may request that the vote take place instead by an electronic ballot (by electronic mail or other means); the Working Group Chair shall decide this question. At any time following a formal vote, up to the end of the meeting, any participant eligible to vote may request that the vote be repeated in an electronic ballot; in this case, the question of whether to repeat the vote electronically shall itself be put to a formal vote and decided according to the rules above.

In voting by electronic mail, the Working Group Chair shall publish the question to the Working Group mailing list; in voting by other electronic means (e.g. a Web-based polling system), the Working Group Chair shall publish the question to the Working Group mailing list, with pointers to the balloting system to be used. At least six days shall be allowed for votes to be cast following the publication of the question.

A question once decided by any form of formal vote becomes the status quo; editors are required to respect such decisions in preparing new drafts of any documents for which the Working Group is responsible. The status quo can only be changed by a formal vote.

Any question may be reconsidered (e.g. if new information or arguments become available), except that a motion to repeat a vote by electronic mail need not be reconsidered by the chair if the motion fails.

5 Minutes

Minutes of Working Group meetings shall be made available to participants in the Working Group and archived in a location accessible to the W3C Membership.

6 Substitute chair

If the Working Group Chair is unable to attend a meeting and the meeting cannot easily be rescheduled, the meeting may be chaired by a substitute chosen by the Chair from among the participants in good standing of the Working Group. If any Working Group participant registers a formal objection to this, or if the Chair could not find an acceptable substitute, the meeting must either be rescheduled or canceled.

7 Plenary review of documents

Before publication of any document, the originating Working Group may send it to the XML Plenary interest group for plenary review.

The plenary review period is seven days. During this time, any participant of the plenary may argue that the document should not be published. When such an objection is raised, the originating Working Group is responsible for deciding what action should be taken. Members of the plenary should not lightly object to the publication of a document; Working Groups should not lightly ignore objections to the publication.

Liam Quin and Michael Sperberg-McQueen, March 2004
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