W3C's 'Moral Majesty'

Don Park donpark at docuverse.com
Sun Sep 19 16:13:04 BST 1999


Thanks for your sincere reply.  When I wrote the original message, I was
beating the drum of frustration and did not expect you to answer directly.
I applogize if you found my message too harsh; I tend to over do it
sometimes (some would say all the time).

Although I generally need two sampling to get a feel for the scale of
quality in any particular area, I think the F2F I went to was average in
quality and definitely not a horrible meeting to an average person.  It was
my first so I had higher expectation than most people in the meeting.  I
could tell that the Chair was working hard to make real progress and
everyone was trying to get some work done.  But, with my high expectation,
inefficiency of it all loomed largely in my memory.  While there is someone
to take minutes, there is a great deal of work being lost between the lines
of the minutes.  There is only finite amount of time allocated for each
topic so discussions are hurried and usually scratches only the surface.  My
point is that, no matter how hard one tries, such meetings are just not very
efficient by its nature.

IMHO, F2F meetings should be used only to resolve serious conflicts and to
edit the spec.  Telephone meetings should likewise be used only to resolve
minor conflicts and to have straw polls.  Since serious conflicts are
political in nature and not of technical nature, I have nothing against
having those minutes remain confidential.  With confidential matters
isolated to F2F and telephone meetings, there should be no reason to keep
the technical discussions confidential.

Technical discussions should take place fully in public using a web-based
project management tool that keeps track of issues, tasks, schedule, people,
and resources visually over the web and allows threaded searchable
discussions.  Such tools are starting to appear now in the market so it is
just a matter of deciding to use it.

While I have other complaints, I believe above changes I suggested can go a
long way in improving the W3C.  If I had to sum it all up, it is this:

1. Increase public participation by separating political
   and technical discussions.

2. Don't just create standards, put them into practice to
   solve its own problems.


Don Park    -   mailto:donpark at docuverse.com
Docuverse   -   http://www.docuverse.com

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