CTG: current discussion (2)

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CTG: current discussion (2)

Eduardo Casais
The comments I submitted to the CTG Last Call on HTTPS and non-traditional browsing
applications are the source of some headache. Let me make clear up a few items before
the final decision is taken.

The points raised in my comments are fully within the scope of the Last Call.

1. The issues they address are not new: the CTG dedicate two sections specifically
to them (4.1.3 and 4.2.9.3), which make it clear that the current situation is
unsatisfactory, as was already concluded in previous discussions within the group.
2. The proposed approaches are not novel: they are equivalent to the solution applied
to other difficulties such as the identification of mobile content or the requirement
to deal with user preferences. They do not introduce new technology or depend on
forthcoming specifications.
3. The comments were delivered within schedule, and in a suitably detailed format.
4. The official Last Call did not state clearly which kind of comments it was
seeking -- no restrictions were imposed. Furthermore, the W3C process document
indicates (section 7.4.2):

"Ideally, after a Last Call announcement, a Working Group receives only
indications of support for the document, with no proposals for substantive
change. In practice, Last Call announcements generate comments that sometimes
result in substantive changes to a document. A Working Group SHOULD NOT assume
that it has finished its work by virtue of issuing a Last Call announcement."

Consequently, the proposals on HTTPS URL and AJAX/SOAP cannot be casually dismissed.
The group has one alternative:
a) Study the proposals in detail and judge them according to their intrinsic merits.
This term is probably the most reasonable approach, as the topics are important.
b) Take official responsibility for not considering them at this point, and include
them in their own section under section J "Scope for future work".

In the latter case, nothing less will do than stating plainly that concrete, and
formally valid proposals to address the issues mentioned in sections 4.1.3 and
4.2.9.3 were submitted in time, but that the group decided not to handle them.

Burying the proposals in a resolution within meeting minutes -- which are difficult
enough to follow for people not participating in the activities of the group -- and
leaving interested people to figure out, amongst all messages posted in two mailing
lists during several years, whether there were relevant approaches at all to deal
with unsolved issues, what they were, and why they were not integrated into the CTG,
is not acceptable. Explicit references to concrete, but unprocessed proposals is in
order:
1. to cut out the work of the possible future group dealing with the area;
2. to inform readers about potential solutions to two important issues;
3. to make it very clear that, as long as the concrete proposals have not been
properly considered, these issues are unsettled, rather than being impossible to
handle, as the current version of the CTG tends to impress upon readers;
4. to establish a balance between topics that are only indirectly relevant to content
transformation (such as POWDER), but deserve a mention in the CTG.

Finally, let us remember that the goal of the CTG work is not to publish a document
so as to be able to sew an additional ribbon on the chest of the participants, but
to regulate the behaviour of systems that have proved to disturb significantly the
mobile ecosystem. I believe the proposals on the table are sufficiently detailed and
clear that their analysis and subsequent resolutions can be carried out efficiently.
It is all the more relevant, as I am not at all in the clear as to the continuity of
the work in the area of content transformation within the W3C.


E.Casais


     

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Re: CTG: current discussion (2)

Jo Rabin-2
Hi Eduardo

I don't disagree with what you say here. There is no intention of
burying any comments at all. Your proposals are, in my opinion, as usual
helpful and insightful.

I don't think that any document is ever complete or perfect. The
objective of publication of a document is to move things forward
recognising that this is the case but also recognising that what it does
say is a contribution to the subject matter.

The dilemma as I see it is that if we make further substantive changes
to the document a further last call will be required. As things stand
there isn't time to do that within the charter of the group. Hence the
practicality of what we face at the moment seems to be that if we make
further substantive changes to the document then it looks likely that it
will remain a draft.

I'd much prefer that we got the document to Recommendation rather than
leaving it as a draft as I think that it will make a bigger difference
to making things work better. I don't think that issues should be swept
under the table and agree that they should be documented as areas that
would benefit from further work.

I think you raise an interesting point as to whether another group would
be willing to take this work forward. Francois pointed out there are
patent policy issues about another group taking this document on. So any
future work based on our suggestions for future work would, as I
understand it, need to be a new document.

My own view is that further substantial progress in this area requires
work which is not limited to mobile in scope and would need to introduce
new technology (like a proper two party consent mechanism).

Jo

On 17/11/2009 12:03, Eduardo Casais wrote:

> The comments I submitted to the CTG Last Call on HTTPS and non-traditional browsing
> applications are the source of some headache. Let me make clear up a few items before
> the final decision is taken.
>
> The points raised in my comments are fully within the scope of the Last Call.
>
> 1. The issues they address are not new: the CTG dedicate two sections specifically
> to them (4.1.3 and 4.2.9.3), which make it clear that the current situation is
> unsatisfactory, as was already concluded in previous discussions within the group.
> 2. The proposed approaches are not novel: they are equivalent to the solution applied
> to other difficulties such as the identification of mobile content or the requirement
> to deal with user preferences. They do not introduce new technology or depend on
> forthcoming specifications.
> 3. The comments were delivered within schedule, and in a suitably detailed format.
> 4. The official Last Call did not state clearly which kind of comments it was
> seeking -- no restrictions were imposed. Furthermore, the W3C process document
> indicates (section 7.4.2):
>
> "Ideally, after a Last Call announcement, a Working Group receives only
> indications of support for the document, with no proposals for substantive
> change. In practice, Last Call announcements generate comments that sometimes
> result in substantive changes to a document. A Working Group SHOULD NOT assume
> that it has finished its work by virtue of issuing a Last Call announcement."
>
> Consequently, the proposals on HTTPS URL and AJAX/SOAP cannot be casually dismissed.
> The group has one alternative:
> a) Study the proposals in detail and judge them according to their intrinsic merits.
> This term is probably the most reasonable approach, as the topics are important.
> b) Take official responsibility for not considering them at this point, and include
> them in their own section under section J "Scope for future work".
>
> In the latter case, nothing less will do than stating plainly that concrete, and
> formally valid proposals to address the issues mentioned in sections 4.1.3 and
> 4.2.9.3 were submitted in time, but that the group decided not to handle them.
>
> Burying the proposals in a resolution within meeting minutes -- which are difficult
> enough to follow for people not participating in the activities of the group -- and
> leaving interested people to figure out, amongst all messages posted in two mailing
> lists during several years, whether there were relevant approaches at all to deal
> with unsolved issues, what they were, and why they were not integrated into the CTG,
> is not acceptable. Explicit references to concrete, but unprocessed proposals is in
> order:
> 1. to cut out the work of the possible future group dealing with the area;
> 2. to inform readers about potential solutions to two important issues;
> 3. to make it very clear that, as long as the concrete proposals have not been
> properly considered, these issues are unsettled, rather than being impossible to
> handle, as the current version of the CTG tends to impress upon readers;
> 4. to establish a balance between topics that are only indirectly relevant to content
> transformation (such as POWDER), but deserve a mention in the CTG.
>
> Finally, let us remember that the goal of the CTG work is not to publish a document
> so as to be able to sew an additional ribbon on the chest of the participants, but
> to regulate the behaviour of systems that have proved to disturb significantly the
> mobile ecosystem. I believe the proposals on the table are sufficiently detailed and
> clear that their analysis and subsequent resolutions can be carried out efficiently.
> It is all the more relevant, as I am not at all in the clear as to the continuity of
> the work in the area of content transformation within the W3C.
>
>
> E.Casais
>
>
>      
>