The Chair's plan to get to Last Call

Change History

Version Date Comments
V01 Initial version published for feedback
V02 2013-09-17 First official version. Addresses feedback from DAA, IAB, et. al.
V03 2013-09-24 Extended the deadline for completing the documentation of issues as announced by email.
Note: Some aspects of this plan have been superseded by the Chairs' Plan moving forward, 29 October, 2013.
Note: The respective changes are usually marked with their version number (V02, V03, ...).


This the proposed plan to move forward. It is based on the listening tour of Jeff Jaffe, and our internal discussions with Jeff, W3C Staff, and our editors.

The purpose of this plan is to serve as a basis for discussion and a foundation for our "how to continue" poll that is detailed in a separate email. This proposed plan constitutes our preferred way to continue.

V02 update:Based on the feedback received, we added the following rules to the plan:

  1. Accommodate the poll: To accomodate this concern we did not plan to close controversial issues before October 23 (2 weeks after the poll). Formally, this means that we will not issue a call for objections while the poll is still open.
  2. Single text rule: If there is only one proposed text/resolution and no alternative resolution is provided (after announcement and 14 days time), the chairs may determine this text as our consensus for an issue.
  3. Close in writing: Before closing an issue, a reminder (e.g., the batch closing emails used in the past) is sent to our mailing list. (Between this email and the closing, there are at least 14 calendar days for review)
  4. Quality of issues: If an issue has no single change proposal or does not satisfy the requirements put forward in this plan, the issue will be closed after October 16 (V03 update: Extended to October 16 (except for ISSUE-25, 24, 5, 10, 170 that are under discussion for an extended period of time. For these issues, the original deadline of October 02 is retained.)).


The Editors' Draft (based on the June draft) represents the most promising path toward consensus of the Working Group on the Tracking Compliance document.

The current Editors' Draft is only a starting point and changes to it are needed. For example, we will need to address the currently open Issues, and in some places, new or existing non-normative text could be inserted to provide further guidance and clarification.

For several major contentious Issues in the group we have had sufficient debate that it appears unlikely that we will achieve unanimity for these Issues.

  1. It is recognized that there are various reasons that some of these Issues have not yet achieved consensus. For example, sometimes privacy could be better protected if there were more advanced technologies available, but these protections are too expensive to implement today.
  2. Thus, we are focused on the appropriate DNT solution for release in 2013-14 which we call DNT 1.0. As technology and user references evolve, we fully expect that there will be further releases that address scenarios that are not well addressed today.
  3. We do not re-open closed Issues unless new information or insight has come up. Change proposals to the document will be entertained according to the decision criteria listed below.
  4. The requirement for new information also holds for individual proposals and counter-arguments within the scope of previous Calls for Objection. i.e., if the same text is submitted without substantial changes, then the arguments given in the Call for Objections are highly likely to still hold.

We have created a schedule with dates that we feel give WG participants the fair opportunity to react to their colleagues and are realistic in terms of getting work done. Our focus is to create a schedule which we believe is achievable.

We prioritise the Compliance specification (our main challenge) over the TPE spec and will postpone substantial work on the TPE spec until the Compliance spec is ready for Last Call.

Close in writing: Before closing an issue, a reminder (e.g., the batch closing emails used in the past) is sent to our mailing list. (Between this email and the closing, there are at least 14 calendar days for review)

Phase 1: Finalising our Preparations (September 2013)


  1. To finalise this plan
  2. To document the complete list of issues against the Editors' Draft and identify one or more draft text proposals for each issue.


  1. Finalise Plan: We are hereby sharing the Chair and Staff's proposed "Plan to Get to Last Call" with the Working Group.
    • Feedback will be accepted until September 9th.
    • On the following Wednesday (11th or 18th) the Chair will publish a revised and final Strategy to get to Last Call, incorporating input from the WG.
  2. Publish Working Draft: In keeping with W3C Process, we should publish a heartbeat Working Draft for the public. We propose to publish a snapshot of the current Editors' Draft, with a status section highlighting the list of change proposals and a notice that the text is not final nor a consensus of decisions not yet made.
  3. Finalise Complete Set of Issues: By October 2nd, all Issues that WG participants want to raise with the Editors' Draft have been entered into the Issues Tracker. Currently open Issues and newly raised Issues should be annotated with rationales and change proposals as described below.
    1. It is required that any Issue explain the rationale for the change. The better rationale that is provided - the more likely that the Issue will be accepted and cause a change to the spec.
      • A valid rationale is to enhance privacy.
      • A valid rationale is to reduce an overly burdensome cost
      • A valid rationale is need to add more clarity to a portion of the document which is unclear
      • A valid rationale is need to add more specificity to a portion of the document which is vague
    2. These are sample rationales, but there could be other rationales as well (if well-documented).
    3. Each Issue, both those that currently exist and those newly proposed, must have associated with it a "Change Proposal" - new proposed text for the draft, together with rationale.
    4. If an already closed Issue is re-raised without substantial new rationale and change proposal, it will remain closed.
    5. Any Issues raised after October 2nd will be treated as post-LC Issues. We will create a separate product in the Tracker for vNext to collect issues to be addressed during the Last Call period or in future versions of the specifications.
    6. Our "Compliance June" product and issues list compiled by June 26th may be sufficient, but this time period gives an additional opportunity to gather group input on specific concerns. It should also give us time, for example, to create specific issues with proposals out of issue-214.
    7. NEW in V02: If an issue has no single change proposal or does not satisfy the requirements put forward in this plan, the issue will be closed after October 02.
    8. NEW in V02: If there is only one proposed text/resolution and no alternative text is provided (after announcement and 14 days time), the chairs may choose this text as our consensus for an issue.

Phase 2: Closing the finalised set of Issues [Anticipated Start: October 2013]

Goals (for each issue):

  1. Finalise set of alternative change proposals to address the given issue (alternatives can include "no change")
  2. Choose one of the alternatives


  1. This phase is expected to begin once additional chairing resources have been identified, in order to promptly proceed through group decisions.
  2. We expect that by interleaving multiple issues at a time, one Issue can be closed per week.

Resolution Procedure for each Issue:

  1. Announce the issue under consideration "Please submit any counter proposals or revisions to change proposals for ISSUE-[issuenr] by next week" and the deadline for submitting final change proposals.
    1. The group discusses and finalises change proposals. This step ensures that each issue has one or several finalised change proposals for resolution.The given Issue in tracker should have an associated Change Proposal, together with rationale.
    2. The Chairs encourage dialog and compromise to encourage consensus in the group.
    3. Additional Change Proposals or Counter-Proposals can be provided by anyone in the Working Group.
    4. If no change proposals for this issue are provided by the deadline, the Issue will be closed.
  2. At the deadline, the set of one or more alternative change proposals is announced and are used as the input for a Working Group decision.
    • Working Group Decision: The objective is that a consensus of the Working Group will emerge. In this case, the Chairs document such a consensus and the corresponding changes are added into the Editors' Draft.
    • If there is no consensus, then the Chairs will issue a Call for Objections. In this case, the resolution will be based on the Chairs' assessment of the relative strength of the arguments. Working Group decisions made through a Call for Objections are also documented in a revision of the Editors' Draft. NEW in V02: After the call for objection has been issued, we allow for 14 days of time for responses.

Publication Strategy:

  1. The current Editors' Draft (formerly June Draft, with revisions) is our starting point and we will first fine-tune this document for publication as a Working Draft.
  2. Whenever an Issue has been resolved, the corresponding changes will be included in the Editors' Draft.
  3. To give regular updates for the public, a snapshot of the Editors' Drafts will be published as a Working Draft every other month (submission on the first Tuesday of every month with an even number).
  4. Once all Issues have been processed according to these rules, the group will publish a heartbeat Working Draft. The chairs will submit this draft to the group, calling for a consensus to request publication as a Last Call Working Draft. (Last Call documents are still Working Drafts; the Last Call period is a chance to ask for wider public review.)


The Chairs may or may not schedule calls to discuss specific Issues and Working Group decisions. As mentioned above, Chairs will use the Calls for Objections process when they believe it is the best approach to resolve an Issue.