Difference between revisions of "W3C Formal Objections"

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(An Example of such an Objection)
(An Example of such an Objection)
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Drummond Reed don’t think any of us knew about this option; challenge is that those who are have been working on this are getting questions from customers about why this is happening
Drummond Reed don’t think any of us knew about this option; challenge is that those who are have been working on this are getting questions from customers about why this is happening
my question is: what’s public visibility of this process?
* my question is: what’s public visibility of this process?
Philippe le Hégaret: fair question; if you look for a process, you will not find one, that’s part of the exercise to figure ou the process
Philippe le Hégaret: fair question; if you look for a process, you will not find one, that’s part of the exercise to figure ou the process

Revision as of 22:47, 8 October 2021

Full Title or Meme

The W3C has created a means to take a formal objection of any standard to the director.

An Example of such an Objection

Daniel Burnett: Philippe le Hégaret has joined us to update on objections to the DID Core Spec. 2021-10-06

Philippe le Hégaret: bad news (sorry)

  • had a call w/objectors to TR 2-3 weeks ago
  • did not manage to find common ground w/various folks
  • decided to send formal objection to W3C council, getting pulled into W3C as legal entity
  • advisory board has been working toward being director-free for some time, instead council w/advisory board & TAG members
  • in case of formal objection, analysis is sent up to council
  • have several formal objections to charters, DID is the only formal objection to a TR
  • have yet to see how council will do with this
  • this thursday, AB will take formal objection on agenda and rule on it
  • could take a month/month and a half to get through
  • tricky bit is to get recusal within council, could end up leaving only people who don’t care or know as much
  • if the council can make a ruling, we’re good w/new process; otherwise we need to go back to drawing board

Daniel Burnett: question about recusal; any process that allows the objectors to participate in a ruling is unacceptable

Philippe le Hégaret: this is the tricky bit, I hear you

  • every single formal objection triggers this; another one was a TAG participant
  • will write analysis, circulate it to each side, and send to council

Brent Zundel: very curious to know who instigated this extra-process of going to council

Philippe le Hégaret: director & myself

Brent Zundel: will interpret this as director using the council to help make his decision

Philippe le Hégaret: he hasn’t delegated his power to the council, director can still disagree

Drummond Reed don’t think any of us knew about this option; challenge is that those who are have been working on this are getting questions from customers about why this is happening

  • my question is: what’s public visibility of this process?

Philippe le Hégaret: fair question; if you look for a process, you will not find one, that’s part of the exercise to figure ou the process

  • visibility: received authorization to make almost all formal objections public; there was also the call, minutes will be made public
  • deliberations of council, believe they can be made public? not sure, process not set in stone; deliberations will be made public

Daniel Burnett: what, if anything, should we do? can we help the process move forward?

Philippe le Hégaret: sending one or more things through council, council should be able to make decision within month, month and a half at most

Ted Thibodeau Jr. charters may have been waiting longer, but they don’t have an expiration; how far is extension going to go?

  • what do we do if TR is rejected?

Philippe le Hégaret: extending charters as necessary (both DID/VC), if no decision, more extension

  • you guys did everything in the process you were asked to do, WG did nothing wrong in process
  • technical perspective, remains to be determined

Daniel Burnett: there is some follow-on work that is depending on this, other charters, etc

  • is everything put on hold until this is resolved?
  • will there be a way for us to provide input to this council, particularly if the recusal process results in objectors remaining on the council

Philippe le Hégaret: yes; will happily share analysis, anyone is welcome to correct, disagreements are welcome to be written/submitted

  • last time, council invited co-chairs to present directly to the council, likely to happen again
  • council will be welcoming feedback on process, especially recusal issues; it’s recognized as a potential problem from the start

Daniel Burnett: this has gone on way longer than other items, but it’s important.

Pamela Dingle: do you expect transparency over who forms council, who recuses, and whether or not they’ve been voting members in the WG?

Philippe le Hégaret: council is composed of AB & TAG members, it’s public information

  • eg, Amy (a document editor) is by default recused in the council, don’t know who’s recused
  • would be surprised if information is not public

Michael Prorock: what actual questions are coming up from the formal objection side that can be taken back to the WG to address?

  • related: payments spec is up for vote, directly uses blockchain, why is that not being held to the same standards?

Philippe le Hégaret: nothing WG can do to satisfy them short of waiting until DID methods are standardized … would surprise me if WG did that

Michael Prorock: they do not feel standardizing did:key & did:web would be sufficient anyway

Philippe le Hégaret: correct, but correct me if I’m wrong, it’s what I understand from the objectors … did:key & did:web are not decentralized enough

Michael Prorock: did:key is decentralized as possible, would a technical read of that help address their concerns?

Philippe le Hégaret: I doubt it

  • mozilla made formal objection public already, I don’t think there’s anything this group can do
  • mozilla objected to original charter

Michael Prorock: second question, why is DID WG being used as test case to push environmental concerns

  • I agree withholding ourselves to higher standard
  • reality is, payments group is up for vote
  • DIDs are using existing infrastructure indirectly
  • why are same standards not being applied to payments group?
  • browser vendors want to support payments within their platforms, but want to block smaller tech

Philippe le Hégaret: if there are formal objections we will receive them in the next few weeks

  • would be surprised to see objections on the same grounds
  • none of the current implementations rely on bitcoin; it could be used, but it’s not the case today
  • besides, who said that you have to be consistent, from one objection to another? you can disagree with yourself within a month ;)
  • I don’t guarantee payments will go through smoothly

Markus Sabadello: thank you for explaining that process

  • in this process, is there any role for advisory committee and rest of member organizations?
  • 3 objections but 40 in favor, how does that fit in?

Philippe le Hégaret: right now we are at the phase of whether to sustain or override the formal objection

  • director decided to get input from the council
  • once the director’s decision is made we can still file objections to director’s decision
  • AC can request to overrule director
  • AB is always open to hear from members
  • environmental concerns: we agree we should look into this further, it’s up to the director; everyone is interested in solving the problem

Daniel Burnett: do you believe the director’s request to do this is because the director specifically needs input, or is this an opportunity because of the nature of the request & who’s involved to see whether the proposed future director-free plan will work?

Philippe le Hégaret: speculating here, I think it’s more the latter (to see if the process will work)

  • once we are director-free, too late to say we don’t like the roles
  • hope that we see this as part of process 2022
  • I encourage you to comment on the whole experience with the council

Daniel Burnett: we may be discouraged with the delay, this isn’t indicative of greater concern with this specific work

Philippe le Hégaret: correct, this WG did everything by the charter

  • it’s an opportunity to test how we go director-free

Ted Thibodeau Jr.:: Comment here on evolving DRAFT Director-Free process – https://github.com/w3c/w3process/tree/director-free

Brent Zundel: appreciate the recognition; we did everything according to charter and process, but objectors didn’t

  • objectors had opportunity to object during two separate CR’s, they didn’t
  • this is very frustrating; I speak for more than myself

Drummond Reed add myself to brent’s voice, already a lot of people depending on this

  • being seen from the outside as classic back-room politics; v. small group is overriding a majority, with 2 years of work so i think you can appreciate the level of frustration that this causes for us.

Ryan Grant: +1

Philippe le Hégaret: appreciate you bringing that up

  • some did not formally object before, but did now
  • process allows them to do that; but director/council can take that into account when ruling this
  • understand the frustration
  • timing-wise, it’s not like we’re missing opportunities
  • the timing of the decision is always a consideration of the Director’s
  • if you believe the objection is causing harm because of the delay, I encourage you to
  • mention that to the director. It would be useful input, on that front.
  • regarding the VC charter, the reason it’s getting delayed, is we were waiting on Brent
  • to do a draft of the VC charter before sending to the committee.
  • But as you pointed out, you’re waiting to see what happens with the DID WG charter,
  • before knowing what the new VC charter should have.

Daniel Burnett: the result of this (DID spec) is important outside of W3C, and will be watched very closely.

  • I know this kind of stuff happens (this is not the only WG/Standards Group where this has occurred),
  • but I just want to reiterate that there are many industries that could be harmed because of the delay.

Philippe le Hégaret: unfortunately, that added importance, makes it that much more important for us to

  • observe what the committee does.

Brent Zundel: I want to raise the concern that VCs and DIDs represent a distinct methodology for handling digital

  • identity, that is in direct opposition to some standards that are already being adopted and folded into
  • the technologies of the formal objectors. Any delays in our spec directly serve the business interests
  • of the objectors, since it affects competing standards.

Philippe le Hégaret: unfortunately, that is very often the case. Formal objections like that get heated very quickly.

  • I will do my best to ensure council and the director makes the decision as soon as possible.
  • I’m sorry you’re getting caught in this.

Brent Zundel: I appreciate everything you’re doing, Philippe. My ability to believe that the other side is acting in good faith is rapidly fading.

Orie Steele: are all formal objections to specs going to the council? Or just specific ones?

Philippe le Hégaret: at the moment, all formal objections will be sent to council.

  • we have 4 charters being caught up in this right now.

Drummond Reed there’s a very specific reality (both DIDs and VCs are affected) – ISO has a spec for Mobile Drivers Licenses,

  • that is being widely perceived as a competitor to VCs and DIDs. And we know some of the objectors have strong
  • business interests in the adoption of MDLs. So, it raises ethical questions in our mind, not just in objecting
  • to competing tech, but in favoring the specification of a competing standards body (W3C vs ISO).

Philippe le Hégaret: neither the Director or I knew about that part. If you believe this should affect the decision,

  • I encourage you to write to myself and the Director.

Drummond Reed will do

Daniel Burnett: this goes for everyone, if you believe there are critical items for Philippe and the Director, please send them.

Brent Zundel: Thank you Philippe for joining us today