Silver Task Force & Community Group

29 Oct 2021


jeanne, JakeAbma, sajkaj, Wilco, MichaelC, sarahhorton, Jemma, Makoto, JF, Chuck, jenniferS, Lauriat
Shawn, jeanne


<jeanne> Meeting: Silver Task Force & Community Group

<scribe> scribe: Wilco

TPAC post-mortem

<MichaelC> TPAC survey

Jeanne: Any take-aways from joint meetings interesting to this group?

Michael: There is a survey. Any comments on how TPAC has run should be put into the survey.

Janina: Wonder what others thought about our approach to start using metadata?

Jeanne: I think we got great info on what is out there and who to contact.
... I'm interested to find a group to figure out what metadata should be
... This was about what EPUB has done with metadata, and what the conformance options group has been talking about. How do you display information needed to make purchasing decisions. If a video has no audio description, I don't want to buy it.

Wilco: I would have hoped for a more content-heavy topic. It was fairly heavy on process and who should host what registry.

Janina: Our take-aways was how do we discover what metadata is needed. Even if something is free, you shouldn't have to launch it to find out if it is accessible to you.
... I wonder if we should have a check-off per guideline. Is there metadata that would be helpful in a guideline.
... On the uptake side, it is part of reporting; Did you provide it.

JF: Around that discussion, how EPUB associates metadata with an EPUB book. In an EPUB book there is an OPF file, basically a manifest file, which has all the metadata about the book.
... This related to the public assertions proposal I've made. A lot of metadata terms we'd be looking for already exists on schema.org.

Chuck: I'll put the metadata discussion as a future agenda item

Blameless post-mortem of WCAG 3 & AG WG CFC process

Jeanne: We had work done this summer that did not make it into a draft. We're start by identifying the sequence of events.
... Lets start with a timeline, leading up to the work this summer.

Sarah: Will try to reconstruct as best I can. Others please add.
... It goes back to January this year. We had two instances where we didn't get to CFC with content.
... We had submitted for Q2 draft, there were survey concerns. We addressed concerns raised. Then brought it back for survey.
... We presented to Silver and AGWG.
... The initial Q3 draft survey, the resolution from that survey was to move content to CFC. Then the content went to a pre-CFC survey a second time mistakenly while I was away.
... It looked as though it was going to pass, but there were people who had concerns who had previously approved the survey. Then it wasn't approved for CFC.
... "We" is a small group of people, we started as a larger subgroup, but participation dwindled. A lot of it was me and Todd, and Jemma came on to move things from Google docs.
... Jake joined in the summer. He came to a few meetings, he had a lot to share.
... Jake was the strongest voice of reservations, which came as a surprise.

<Zakim> Chuck, you wanted to add one step in the recap

Chuck: My recollection was that the original pre-CFC was approved. The second pre-CFC went mistakenly out.

Jeanne: They were supposed to get into the Q2 draft. My recollection was we did not allow for enough time to get content into the draft. We missed the deadline for that.

<Chuck> Wilco: Ask the obvious question. Why was it a problem it didn't make it into the draft?

Sarah: I think the problem is more related to the process.
... The concerns that the group had related to a number of procedural aspects.
... If we're a consensus driven organisation, we have to believe in the process.
... If something can be resolved, and then unresolved for one group, but if that process doesn't happen for others. It raises concerns on if the process is applied evenly.
... Looking back, there are a few things that would have been fine. If for that second survey, the chairs had said "we're going to stick to our process and go to CFC".
... If those concerns had been raised for the CFC, the process works evenly for everyone.

<jenniferS> +1 to Sarah

<Jemma> +1 to Sarah

Sarah: The pre-CFC survey went ahead, and then there were people in that conversation who had previously approved who changed their mind.
... The process is that the pre-CFC is where concerns can be raised, to prevent people raising concerns once at the CFC.
... So the process broke down.
... It wasn't following the same process of other content.

Chuck: For clarification, you felt that an alternate decision the chairs could have made, could have re-engaged the process more accurately. What I'm hearing, had the chairs made the decision to go with the original process, that would have been a more constructive solution. Is that accurate?

<sajkaj> +1 to Chuck's summary; Sarah's point

Sarah: Yes. If you think about a vote, if there was a mistake, I don't think we'd be governed by the second party. We wouldn't have to adhere to the mistaken vote.
... That is not going to protect the process. It's important that we give the assurance that everyone who shows up gets the same type of consideratoin.

<sajkaj> It could be reasonably argued that the DP would have gone differently.

<Jemma> above point was what I was about to address.

Jemma: As a working group member, I've invested less time. My role was limited to moving content. Still I spend my time, Sarah has a timeline. Then there was a surprise.
... We thought this was going to be part of the draft. The process is unstable and a little unfair. I don't know that I want to come in more, because I don't know my work will pay off.

Chuck: I want us to be open, and improve the process, in particular on correcting mistakes in the future.
... I want this to be a more stable and fair process.

Shawn: It sounds like several things happened that were not idea. It sounds like there was overall, lowering participation in the group.
... Another issue was an uneven weighting to people's voices and opinions. A few people had their points elevated above others.
... We went to a vote more than once. And then there were inconsistent results when it went for a vote a second time.

<Zakim> Jemma, you wanted to Shawn's point and to discuss first point

Jemma: I hear the problem was we had too few members. I think the problem is, so many people invest their time, but it does not come into the deliverable. It seems they were correct that they didn't stay until the last minute.
... I don't think the number of people is the real reason.

Shawn: A point around starting with a larger subgroup is worth noting, even if it didn't have to do with this particular issue.

Jemma: Every subgroup has one or two main actors, I think it has more to do with power politics.

Chuck: The decision that the chairs made in response to the mistake may not have been the best. That should also be reviewed.

<Zakim> Chuck, you wanted to discuss fifth issue

Janina: It would be useful to see if we followed our decision policy. Hopefully the decision policy would help us recover from the mistakes.

Shawn: I want to make sure we have the issues clear before we try to solve them.
... The fact that we went to a second vote suggest we did not follow our policy.

Sarah: About the participation, in providing that detail, it had less to do about the weight of responsibility, and more to do with what I think is a problem; participation in Silver generally.
... It's not that it was too much work, but the lack of participation does influence things. We don't have a loud voice putting things forward.
... Talking about why participation is falling off generally is another conversation
... The diversity of voices is dwindling.
... We had some great work, following the process. But for various reasons people left the group.
... Jake joined in the summer. He came into the group with a lot to share. We didn't have a lot of time to catch Jake up on what the group had been doing.
... Number 6 might be, a person coming into a long process, and derailing the group. I wasn't aware that he had objections to moving forward with the resolution.
... I think, to summarize, you can have a group of people working hard, and have that be derailed by one voice.
... I'm concerned about the health of our organization if that can happen so easily.

<JF> Groups should favor proposals that create the weakest objections. This is preferred over proposals that are supported by a large majority but that cause strong objections from a few people. - https://www.w3.org/2020/Process-20200915/#managing-dissent

JF: We don't vote at the W3C. We build consensus. When I look at the process, we're looking at proposals that create the weakest objections. I'm a little frustrated by the world derailed.
... We've broken into such small groups, two or three people can get specific ideas, and then get frustrated when people start to push back.
... I can be very sympathetic of people putting in a lot of work, only for it then to fall flat.


Shawn: That is fair, but it is still worth noting that it went to the group twice, and got inconsistent results.

<Zakim> jeanne, you wanted to talk about the importance of publication to motivate people to work.

<Jemma> if consensus proces is not fair, that is not the consensus. It is the winning game for the group with power.

<jenniferS> +1 to Jemma

Jeanne: I wanted to echo what Sarah said. I think the importance of what we're trying to do today, is to start finding some solutions to how people can do work, and not have it seen through. People come to do work because they want to make a difference.
... But having the work they do given fair consideration and published is a fair consideration.
... Our dwindling participation has a lot to do to seeing our work make it through the process.

<Jemma> +100 to Jeanne's point

<jenniferS> How did I fall off the queue?

Jake: I think we're only half way through this conversation. I want to give from an abstract level how I've experienced this.


<Lauriat> I think Jeanne mistakenly acked you instead of herself, I'll add you after Jake

<jenniferS> Thank you, Shawn.

Jake: I participate in multiple groups. Like everyone in WCAG we spend a lot of free time. From different groups in Silver, I'm trying to get Silver to the next level, but be strict about does it fit.

Shawn: There is no blame.

<Jemma> +1 to Shawn

<JF> +1 to Jake

<Jemma> stoping Jake's time

Jake: I'm getting interrupted. I'd like to give my view on what happened.

<JF> this is supposed to be blameless, yet I also feel that Jake is on trial

<jenniferS> Thanks, Michael!

Jake: We do surveys every week, we have issues every week, new success criteria are discussed almost every month. Sometimes it is work done by a group, like the mobile TF. That is where it starts.

<JF> +1 to Jake

Jake: Multiple people jump in. At the moment there is a survey people start really reading what you've done.
... Sarah mentioned she was not aware of my concerns. I don't think it's even about my comments. We experienced this in the WCAG group for years. There were 50 / 60 criteria proposed. Only 10 made it.
... At this moment, my only issue was that Silver had been published. The second time we publish, we should improve on what we publish.

Shawn: To restate an issue, the surveys are a point where people give a fresh look.

<JF> Bingo Shawn! Larger group of eyeballs

<Jemma> +1 to continue Jake's points

<Jemma> later

Jennifer: It was very pedantic to go on vote. We have an inconsistent application of the process we have established.
... From my research of people who have left the group, part of the reason is this inconsistant application of the rule. It is a responsibility of the group. If there are late perspectives, they can be added to the queue and discussed later.

<Zakim> Chuck, you wanted to say that this retrospective will need to continue

Chuck: We have to continue this conversation.

Summary of Action Items

Summary of Resolutions

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Default Present: jeanne, JakeAbma, sajkaj, Wilco, MichaelC, sarahhorton, Jemma, Makoto, JF, Chuck, jenniferS, Lauriat
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