20 October 2021


BenTillyer, DirkRoeleveld, DKA, Dom, JamesRosewell, JeanYvesPerrier, Lola, MarieClaireForgue, RichardLea, TakioYamaoka, YajunChen

Meeting minutes

Lola: thank you for coming to this intro to developer council session
… my name is Lola Delola, dev advocate for Samsung Internet
… co-chair of the new reformed Developer council
… we have things in the pipeline I want to present
… hope to see people getting involved

DKA: I'm Dan Appelquist, I'm co-chair of the Technical Architecture Group
… and I'm head of dev advocacy for Samsung Internet
… I've long been a proponent of getting developers more involved in the standards process
… and there is a linkage between dev advocacy and standards
… the more devs we have engaged in the process, the higher quality output we will have
… because this provides developers validation right in the beginning
… instead of developing a standard getting implemented but not meeting the needs of the developers or end users
… The TAG, technical architecture group, reviews other specifications
… design reviews takes most of our time
… that includes work that happens outside of W3C in WHATWG, IETF, etc
… we always look at user and developer needs when we review these designs
… we would like to see developers engagement already at that level
… with feedback or data
… developer input should be welcomed all across the work we do

Lola: to give some background on why I'm getting involved with this developer council
… I think there is a barrier of entry between developers who work in the real world and W3C who work on standards for browsers
… unless you know, you don't know
… we want to demistify the process to make it much easier for developers to get involved in the process
… we also want to help proposal writers to get feedback and input on their ideas
… I won't be assuming everyone knows what W3C is
… so I'll start with some background
… W3C was created by Tim Berners-Lee, a standard organization with a bunch of employees, a set of host institutions in US, Europe, China and Japan
… these institutions facilitate the W3C work together
… W3C is organized around Working Groups, Community Groups, advisory groups, interest groups
… to be part of Working Groups, you need to be employed by a Member organization (which comes a fee)
… whereas community groups are open to all for free
… W3C mission is to lead to the Web to its full potential through the development and publication of web standards
… W3C is one of a few standards bodies
… there are about 35 WG, 10 IGs, and hundres of Community Groups
… W3C does work on CSS, HTML, JS API, Web Payments
… audio, video, WebRTC, ...
… If you can do it on the Web, W3C was probably involved
… also work on privacy, accessibility,
… not all proposals get published- it goes through a rigorous process to match both practical and ethical standards
… where will the dev council fit into this?
… it will provide a place for developers to learn more about W3C, but also give feedback on proposals
… this is open to any one to join, but I expect it will play an advisory role in providing feedback to proposals brought to the fore
… this is different from a regular CG in that CGs can be difficult to navigate if you don't know where to go to
… we want to act as an initial step - a bit like a welcome desk
… we want to create and consolidate resources to help developers
… one of these resources is the Web platform contribution guide

Web Platform Contribution Guide

Lola: this is the general gist of what we want to accomplish with the council
… we have monthly meetings

Dev Council CG

Lola: if you have suggestions, please let us know
… hope to see many people joining

Dirk: How long generally does it take from when commenting on proposals to seeing change? [from chat]

DKA: there isn't a single answer to that - it depends on the nature of the proposal
… how mature the technology is in
… specifications go through different stages - if it's still in rapid development, changes are easier than if there is already lots of implementations out there
… part of the role the dev council can play is to help with guiding that feedback
… orienting towards incubation vs WG feedback for instance

DKA: Yesterday, I attended the session on "the Web we want"
… it's an initiative came out of microsoft originally but is now involving a number of other browsers
… but also connecting developers
… should we work with them?

Dom: +1
… hopefully, the dev council can also help guide people across the various SDOs involved in Web standardization

Lola: +1 as well
… the council should also be a conduit to get input from a broader set of geographies that currently represented in W3C
… we're putting up together a leadership team that will connect to many communities
… next week, I'm doing a session with an online tech bootcamp about the council & W3C
… we're also going to do active outreach to bring more awareness

Lola: I have a few questions for you who showed up
… have you been active in W3C?
… what have you been your pain points in getting involved in W3C? looking for constructive feedback on e.g. the lack of onboarding process
… or challenges in bringing people in
… navigating the W3C web site for instance has been a challenge for me

James: I joined in April 2020 - this devrel thing feels fantastic and very positive
… my experience before that was that the Web was being developed on its own
… having been involved more recently, part of the challenge is how much work is happening all over the place
… throttling / breaking down proposals would be needed to avoid overloading developers
… e.g. if a developer is ready to commit 2h/month, they wouldn't be able to deal with the firehose of proposals

Lola: most of the conversations happen on github, with some asides on mailing lists, slack
… I'm wondering if it would be useful to have a micro-site that allows people to filter based on their interest
… or is this something that we should filter for them?

James: there are breaking changes that will impact developers directly - many aren't aware of these changes
… unless it gets surfaced to them through Twitter or the press
… so having a group paying attention to these breaking changes would be one group
… another group might be interested in shiny new features
… Igalia presented e.g. their work on CSS Grid
… the two audiences might have different levels of engagement

Jean-Yves: two pain points
… I know lots of people that are afraid to ask questions to expert by fear of bothering them or stealing their precious time
… is that something the council can help with?
… another one is that most people in W3C deal with specs - dealing with spec is different than dealing with everyday problem
… but everyday problem is "I want to do this" - sometimes the answer is "it's already possible by doing this and this"
… there may be friction between the need for new features vs howto using existing features

Lola: in terms of getting spec writers to solve their day-to-day issues for devleopers, the dev council can help
… e.g. for an established spec, we can redirect people to MDN or other online places where information already exists
… that's also how I hope the dev council can help distinguish topics that needs spec writer expertise
… spec writers want to hear from developers, their feedback
… we hope the dev council to serve as this point of input

Dirk: Give us an idea of how often meetings are, what tools are used (you mentioned slack, irc?). In what format does one give contributions? [from slack]

Lola: we still have a lot of this to figure out - we're planning once a month meetings, 4th Thursday of the month
… at 4pm UK (UTC+1), for an hour
… we'll be having them on Zoom
… we have a Slack channel on the W3C Community
… you can be added there if you're not on it yet
… We'll be using Slack, Google docs, Github

Dev Council Github repo

Lola: we're still working on a work statement
… the first public meeting for the council will be in November - by then hopefully we'll have a lot more of our structured figured out

Lola: is there any interaction patterns in W3C that you would like to see more of?

DKA: one of the things that I like in W3C is the feeling of community
… there is a strong feeling of community among people that have participated for a while
… I would like to see that expanded to everybody that is getting involved
… this was most evident in in-person TPAC events
… more difficult to make it happen in virtual mode
… maybe the dev council can help bridge the gap

Lola: my final question - what do you want to see from the dev council?

James: input in the roadmap - what does the dev community want to see added / removed from the platform?
… developers are an important stakeholder whose input should be part of the conversation
… the roadmap should reflect the needs of the community, not just big tech

Dirk: to be able to vote on some of the issues and decisions that are happening, to be aware of the changes that are being decided on
… and being able to vote on that

Dom: also hoping to see the Dev Council paves the way for WGs to received and seek feedback from developers on specific questions they might have

DKA: working both in dev advocacy and standards, I would like to see more representation in dev advocacy efforts in other companies and organizations
… I hope we can bring people more people that are have this shared awareness of dev communities and standardization
… to focus that energy

dom: +1 to targeting dev advocacy people - many of them have the same kind of apprehensions with getting involved in standardization

jean-yves: another issue is the problem of timing
… giving feedback too early will be skipped
… giving feedback too late will be disruptive
… so helping with identifying when the right time is for feedback would be great

Lola: thank you all for the input
… please follow up in the council either in the CG or in the github repo

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 136 (Thu May 27 13:50:24 2021 UTC).


Succeeded: s/ena/enga/

Succeeded: s/Lola/DKA/

No scribenick or scribe found. Guessed: dom

Maybe present: Dirk, James, Jean-Yves