2022 Devices and Sensors Council


Mozilla objected to the Devices & Sensors working group re-chartering. The details of this objection may be found in the Formal Objection Report prepared by the W3C Team.


The objection had two key points:

  1. Mozilla objected to several specifications remaining in the charter which had already been objected to in a previous FO (including the Network Information API)
  2. Mozilla further objected to two additional specs being added to the charter: System Wake Lock API and Compute Pressure


The Council resolved, by consensus, to overrule the objection: the charter may proceed, with the specifications identified in the Formal Objection included in its scope.


Regarding point 1, the Council finds this has already been addressed and ruled on in in the previous Council's deliberations. This report may be found on the W3C AC Mailing List (member-only link) and the report has also been reflected in the DAS Working Group issues list. Although it's not clear that the group has followed all of our advice from the previous report, this isn't grounds for sustaining the objection on this point. That advice was intended to support the group carying the work forward and to limit the risk of Formal Objections at later stages, not conditions to be fulfilled in order to be allowed to operate at all. Not seeing any new relevant information brought forward, the Council therefore agreed to overrule this point of objection.

Regarding point 2, the Council recognizes that charters are allowed and expected to go beyond what the Process demands. However that is to meet the specialized needs or practices of a Working Group, and/or general expectations of the community. The Council doesn't think these conditions apply to Mozilla's notion that there should be “at least some explicit interest from two or more practical (web impactful) implementations” for work to be chartered. A complete lack of interest from anyone would be problematic, but this is not the situation here. Although the specifics differ, the Council believes that the observations made in the previous report also broadly apply here as well. The Council therefore also resolved to overrule this point of the objection.

The Council had consensus that the group has not made as much progress as we would like on the issues raised in the previous Council report, and that this may be an indication that taking on additional work is imprudent, but this is not suffienct grounds to sustain the objection.

The Council further debated whether this has any implications for the imminent charter extension of the Devices & Sensors. The Council resolved to advise that any formal objection may be raised at any time but additional formal objections that largely cover the same ground as ones that have been previously ruled on will likely be summarily dismissed, unless they bring significant new information.

Additional Recommendations

For the Working Group

We encourage the Devices and Sensors working group to review the recommendations of the previous Council report Although there have been some examples of good engagement with the TAG, particularly Device Posture and Geolocation and Screen Wake Lock API we would like to see more of this type of outreach, particularly where user privacy is concerned. We also encourage the working group to avoid taking on additional work and over-stretching.

We also encourage the group to open TAG reviews on the other work items and to seek wide review beyond TAG where appropriate.

We also encourage members of the Working Group to do more work to highlight the user need and developer demand for these APIs in the general web community. We also encourage the group to do what they can to encourage multiple interoperable implementations to arise - ideally across multiple browser engines when applicable.

The success of the work of this group, realized through transitions towards Recommendation status, will likely depend on these factors.

For Mozilla

We encourage everyone (Mozilla in this case) to try to get broader consensus on the principles you want to see applied to charters before raising objections on charters. In particular, if you would like to see stronger commitments on multiple implementer interest at charter time, or clarification about what constitutes multiple implementations in this context, please raise this issue in the Process Community Group and/or the Advisory Board to get stronger community backing.

For W3C Team

Although this had no material effect on the conclusions of this Council, there were a few points where the Team report was somewhat insufficient:

Council Participation

Information on participation, as required by the draft Process on Councils:

The following individuals were potential Council members, due to either being participants in the TAG or the AB, or to being the W3C CEO:

None of the them renounced their seat on the Council; none of them were dismissed. Therefore, all were qualified to serve.

Of those qualified to serve, the following participated in the final decision: