Process CG meeting

08 February 2023


Chris_O'Brien, cwilso, Dingwei__, florian, npd, plh, TallTed, tzviya, wendyreid

Meeting minutes

plh: Anything else that people would like to talk about?

florian: We have new participants, we should remind ourselves where we are
… we are in the wrap-up phase of the current process cycle
… two themes, new process compatible with W3C Inc
… and second, phase out the dependency on the director
… focus was on that
… and there are some pending PRs to review today
… today is the time to look at everything, have we done something good enough to launch
… do we have any showstoppers to deal with
… are there any issues we need to address later?

florian: Anything else?

plh: Wendy, do you want us to touch on your issue?

wendyreid: No it's ok

Pull Requests to Review

plh: let's look at the work in PRs
… 701

<plh> Github: w3c/w3process#701

plh: clarify the role of the team contact and define the term

florian: I will introduce
… this is an editorial PR, we define who and what the team contact is
… mention they are there to support the council
… they are there to help
… stepping stone to the next PR

plh: I approved, but previously, the team was not participating in the council, it's hard to assist when you are out of the loop
… it's important to introduce the definition
… any objections?
… going... going... merge!


<plh> Github: w3c/w3process#702

plh: for PR 702, using the definition

florian: This one is to define how the team contact can participate, they can participate in the council
… due to confidentiality, they could not previously. This was preventing team contacts from helping
… includes the Team Contact as a particpant, but a non-voting one

plh: As part of the consideration for nominating the team contact, we want to avoid conflict of interest
… the team contact of the group under formal objection would not be the team contact for the council
… to avoid conflict

florian: This question was raised to the AB directly, and the AB resolved to do this
… it's less should we do it, and more how to phrase it
… Ted has mentioned a broader problem about mentioning the council, when there could be several
… he logged a new issue
… we should deal with that
… aside from that, my take is that this PR is ok

Dingwei__: In my experience in the FO council

<npd> +1 for confidentiality including team contact

Dingwei__: I get a feeling sometimes, we don't have all of the people who can answer
… we might want to propose that the body raising the FO participate to help with explaining the facts

<Zakim> florian, you wanted to respond to dingwei

Dingwei__: would be helpful to have that information

florian: This is deliberate but, the current situation is not that the council cannot hear from them
… they can invite anyone they need details from
… anyone they find important to listen to
… if the council feels they know enough, they don't have to
… having the team contact will help with some of this too
… may be able to share facts
… still have the ability to hear from anyone

Dingwei__: Florian you are speaking from a process perspective, but when we are organizing an FO council, the invitations do not go out to all of these parties

<Zakim> tzviya, you wanted to talk about guidelines for FO Council

tzviya: I jut wanted to mention what goes in the process is not what will go in the documentation for the chair council
… more detailed information for what will happen will go there, does not need to be in the process
… Dingwei__ I think you are right, but that is documentation for the council and Yves is working on it

plh: We have flexibility to put things in the guide to make it operational

florian: In the first council we did invite the objector and WG, as we had questions, we didn't do it for the most recent one
… initial invites go to the council, but we can invite others

TallTed: It seems that it would make sense to refer to that other guide in the process document
… to make it clear not all the details are there

plh: Agreed, once that documentation appears, we will link to it

TallTed: Suggesting a handwave reference now, since several of us are not aware of it

plh: How should we handle that?

florian: hand-wavy references already exist, but one that goes to a document that doesn't exist yet is more challenging

<TallTed> +1 for issue as placeholder

plh: Maybe one that reminds us we need to add the reference once available

TallTed: Works for me

plh: Any objections to merging 702?
… will pen a seperate issue for a reference

<npd> is there an issue already for the Guide on best practice for running a Council?

plh: let's merge 702
… 709!

RESOLUTION: Merge PR #702, Create an issue to link to the Guide once the documentation becomes available.

<plh> Github: w3c/w3process#709

florian: Another one the AB has approved
… looking to check if the wording is fine, it may be necessary to replace a chair of the council
… due to time, or other reasons, request from the AB is that we enable the team contact to relaunch chair selection if suggested by the chair or the group

plh: With the expectation that it should not be a surprise to the council

florian: Yes

npd: I'm confused by this, I understand if the chair has to step down, but this text doesn't suggest that
… this seems like if the team contact wants a new chair
… they can iniate the change

florian: If that happens, the council can reselect the same chair
… but it should not be a surprise
… we didn't give them the ability to pick a chair, only initiate the process

plh: Let me add, the phrasing is "oh the team can do whatever they want", but that can also be clarified in the guide
… we already get criticism on the length of the guide
… focus on implementation of the process
… as long as they are checks in the process

tzviya: I think the wording is clunky, doesn't read like checks and balances
… chair selection is done by the council

florian: The wording is that the team contact can initiate the chair selection

plh: Members of the AB are here

tzviya: We were focused on the resolution, not the wording, leaving it to process

plh: Do we have enough information to proceed?

florian: It does not highlight the checks and balance, but they're there
… a guide article that explains everything would help

plh: How many people think we need to reword this?

tzviya: Maybe end the sentence earlier

npd: This seems more confusing

TallTed: Threw a small tweak in
… "or by the chair"

florian: I think it's friendlier, but makes no difference to the process
… maybe that is making the process longer, or friendlier

TallTed: Here is where I don't think 4 words adds to the length

plh: Ok, are we ok with the new wording?

florian: works for me

<npd> I can live with that

plh: Ok! Merge once the tweak is added

npd: It would be good to have more in the guide, are we tracking issues for the guide

plh: We agreed to create an issue to add the link for the documentation, we can include that, we're aware of everything needing to go in the documentation

florian: This is not the guide CG, the guide is mostly done by the team, but in the open

plh: If anyone here would like to review the guide, it is more than welcome

<npd> sure, I just wanted to have a place to track suggestions and contributions, even if a separate group (the Team) handles it

RESOLUTION: Merge PR #709, once the tweak has been applied

<plh> Github: w3c/w3process#703

plh: To 703

florian: This one is a little longer
… also backed by an AB resolution
… how to deal with hypothetical cases of running into a formal objection where it's obvious to everyone what needs to be done
… do we need to do the whole process of forming a council to just do the obvious thing
… this forms a shortcut
… when the team writes the report, it can provide a recommendation, the new thing is if the entire possible council agrees on the recommendation, we go ahead with that
… if there is any opposition, we proceed with the council
… aside from people renouncing their seat, where people are forbidden from participating in the council for legal reasons or ther
… questions?

plh: The comment is on Github, can we please drop the word "absurd"

TallTed: Added a comment to address that

plh: Florian are you ok to change that?

florian: Yes

plh: If we take Ted's suggestion in, any other objections to merge 703?
… then we can reuse precedence

<npd> thanks for addressing that wording change, +1

florian: I don't suspect this will be used often, but will save time in the cases it applies to

plh: going going merge!

RESOLUTION: Merge PR #703, after tweaking the language

… 704

<plh> Github: w3c/w3process#704

florian: This one is probably more subtle
… the process has had this notion of a memorandum of understanding
… a contract-like thing
… it's a particular class of agreements between W3C and others to understand what W3C does
… when we partner up with groups like WHATWG, or merge with IDPF
… we make contract-like things, MoUs, this was previously dealt with by the director
… we'd like to move this to the team and CEO, but when they want to sign such a thing
… they need to get the approval of the AC
… and the AC could appeal
… mightthat interfere with the role of the board?
… this PR tries to clarify that the team may negotiate these things, and AC review can happen, AC can appeal, this can be overridden by the board
… the team on its own cannot sign an MoU where a successful appeal is present, but the Board can
… especially in cases of urgency
… if something happens where the membership and Board disagree, Board overrides

plh: This is the first time in the process where we link to the board?

florian: No, there's another mention for AB liaisons

plh: I think the team and the board need to figure this out
… my concern is that this is a slippery slope
… encourage the board to step into process
… it could bite us

npd: I got on the queue to talk separately about the review and appeal process could be a delay
… I don't know every case of an MoU
… but if the team needs to operate using these MoUs, with the review process it might prevent signing

plh: This doesn't change having an AC review and appeal

florian: Yes, you're right npd that is why this is a SHOULD not MUST. Sometimes there is a need for a rush and there is the possibility of that
… to PLH's point, we might want counsel advice
… the process is a normative reference of the member agreement
… it has contractural value
… the board can weigh that in, the Board could instruct the team to sign a contract that fails appeal
… but it might violate the member agreement without a clause like this
… in every case they can do it, but one involves contract violation

plh: I worry we're opening pandora's box

florian: My alternative worry, the Board may say contracts are not a concern of the AC
… the MoU about the WHATWG should not be a board matter, for example

plh: I was talking with dsinger about this, difference between an MoU and an agreement
… not going to object to the changes
… but not surprised when the board asks for revisions

florian: We should inform the board of this change
… if it seems reasonable to us, we should get their feedback

plh: Action item to review with the board

<npd> would we want to say the Board can override in cases of operational necessity for the organization?

plh: let's not merge this one today
… let's get feedback from at least the interim CEO

florian: Note to the AB chairs, this is also tagged as getting AB feedback
… if we think its plausible, we should get feedback

plh: Let's move on
… we are now on 705

<plh> GitHub: w3c/w3process#705

florian: Proposed by Ian Jacobs, per the membership agreement but a phrase that doesn't live in the agreement
… it's more accurate to say per the IPR process
… we can drop the reference, it can be found in the document we are actually pointing to

plh: Any objection? Ok let's merge 705
… last one for today


<plh> GitHub: w3c/w3process#706

plh: 706

florian: Very editorial
… we had a sentence at the beginning of the council composition
… more of the sentence was dedicated to exceptions than the detail
… this PR modifies that to make it easier to read
… we have been iterating on variants

plh: There were some suggestions

florian: I looked at some and agree with some parts

plh: What's the proposal at this point?

florian: I agree with parts

plh: I don't see a change in the proposal

florian: I am asking for help
… I was fine with the initial one, but Elika had comments
… if it's necessary to modify the langage of the section
… suggestion to say members of the council are selected from, suggests a large pool
… but then we are back
… maybe we can keep the long one, or short with "each" instead of "the"

plh: Let's not take this PR, look at Ted's issue (710), and address this as part of that

florian: We don't seem to have reached consensus

plh: We are not merging 706

next Steps

plh: do we want to send this for review?
… I am reluctant to make changes while the AB is reviewing it
… understanding we won't allow ourselves to make substantive changes during AB review
… are there any other issues we think need addressing?
… if no, let's start the 2 week review period
… decide in 2 weeks to send to AB

<Zakim> npd, you wanted to comment on next steps for review

npd: That answers my question, we're taking a hard look before AB or AC?

plh: The way we're going to work, we're working under the authority of the AB for this editorial work, in order for us to make decisions, we need 2 weeks to review the document and the issues, let's move forward
… we've been asking people to review for a few weeks, but today I am asking formally for 2 weeks of review
… to send to the AB
… once we make the decision, the bar to accept a change is much higher

florian: We can open a new branch

plh: For any changes beyond editorial, we would need to cycle back

npd: Process CG will have it's last review now, but AB can contribute

florian: Since we didn't merge the PR on MoU's, we could say "we're done aside from this PR"
… then ask for advice

plh: I'm fine with asking as part of that
… it's fair game
… so you've been warned, please review the process and issues in the next 2 weeks
… congrats everyone
… lot of issues on the process, plenty to do
… pressure to dive into other topics

npd: Can't stop people from commenting

RESOLUTION: CG Participants have 2 weeks to identify any blocker before we ask the AB

Council / Guide Review

florian: I want to switch topics for the last 2 minutes
… introduce the council/guide review

florian: worked with Elika on this, there are multiple pieces in /guide that need to exist
… we probably need a council chair guide
… we probably need a guide for the team on the mechanics
… this one is a general intro for the general public on what a council is and what it does
… this derives from an article written by Jeff early on
… some of the opinions did not pan out and have been removed, and we've recycled other parts
… that's the article
… we'll need something for team and running council

plh: The team may take an action to work on this, and Tzviya said she'd have a discussion with Yves

florian: Guide article for council chairs

plh: I don't think we meant to limit it
… glad we are working on it

florian: This is not meant to be decision
… but this group wants a guide
… a first draft of one of the pieces that must exist
… I think it's one of three pieces

plh: Not sure it needs to be member-only

florian: It could be in member-visible too

plh: Could be in guide

florian: We didn't write it from scratch from where Jeff created it

plh: Glad to see the work
… FYI for folks here
… no time to talk about the upcoming issues
… 700 from Wendy
… I'm getting criticism on the length and complexity of the process
… not something we can address in this revision possibly
… one of the challenge is that the process is too complex
… even though we're adding more with director-free

florian: Making it easier will not be easy

plh: Thanks everyone!
… next meeting in 2 weeks

<plh> [adjourned]

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 210 (Wed Jan 11 19:21:32 2023 UTC).


Succeeded: s/does not highlight the checks and balance/does not highlight the checks and balance, but they're there/

No scribenick or scribe found. Guessed: wendyreid

All speakers: Dingwei__, florian, npd, plh, TallTed, tzviya, wendyreid

Active on IRC: cwilso, Dingwei__, florian, npd, plh, TallTed, tzviya, wendyreid