[Draft] Proposal for Community-Based Specification Maintenance

Status of this Document: This proposal has been approved by W3C management and will be reviewed by the Membership during TPAC 2010.





Note: This process makes use of a proposal from the new standards task force that involves the creation of lightweight community groups.

Community Groups Manage Errata

The community (or W3C staff) creates a Community Group to manage maintenance of a Recommendation. W3C Working Groups will no longer do maintenance. This can be discussed; there may be some WGs that want to manage errata until they close.

The Community Group will allow public participation without fee. The Community Group may, of course, be populated by the participants of the Working Group that produced the Recommendation (indeed, that is a very good thing).

The Community Group is self-governing. It persists indefinitely.

The Community Group chooses Errata Managers who have write access to the site and who help to log errata. (People may wish to use tools offsite, but that should be discouraged, and the data should routinely be archived at w3.org.). W3M may choose to assign staff as Errata Managers, but their responsibilities are still to be confirmed through the processes chosen by the Community Group.

The Community Group establishes a process for approving corrections. It should be consensus-based. (I expect we will provide straw-polling tools to assist in this process.) Strong objections to proposed corrections must be noted along with the corrections chosen by the Community Group.

Steps in the Maintenance Process

Request to Advance to Proposed Recommendation

At some point, the Community Group decides that it wishes to fold errata normatively into a new edition of a specification.

Director Handling of the Request

Request to Advance to Recommendation

The review committee, working with the Community Group, manages incoming comments and making edits. People may register formal objections to changes.

Once comments have been processed, the review committee sends a transition request to Recommendation, including documentation of changes since PER and any Formal Objections.

The Director either approves the request or publishes rationale for rejecting it. If approved, the Editor works with the Comm Team and Webmaster to publish and announce the revised Recommendation.


In general Community Groups can compete. What happens if two pop up for errata about a particular spec?

That seems unlikely. We'll deal with it if it happens.

What is more likely is that someone will object to changes within a single Community Group.

What are the risks of a community driven errata management process?

@@To be completed with information about possible need for staff oversight.

Philippe Le Hégaret and Ian Jacobs
Last modified: $Date: 2011/02/28 23:37:56 $ by $Author: ijacobs $.