A more minor objection to the IETF that I hope the OWF will solve similarly to the ASF is that it is actually too inclusive. Anyone is allowed to join a working group and have as much say as anyone else. This means that any fool with time on their hands can completely derail the process for as long as they feel like.
That's a Social Denial of Service Attack, and it can be handled by a good WG chair and "camera ready copy".
Not to mention the fact that these "fool[s] with time on their hands" can just as well come from large companies. Those are actually worse because they are paid while they do it, unlike over-zealous individual members... And if you think that being an employee of a large company means they'll be shoved aside when they start to become unproductive bores, well you're right in a way: that's how they ended up out of development and into standards... ;-) Speaking as a recovering large-company standards guy, now again productively (I hope) employed in development. So now I just needed involved in OWF to contribute a review of the accommodations.
Posted by William Vambenepe on 2008-07-29
The WHATWG has shown that a structure based around the strength of arguments and solid evidence can avoid all the time wasters pretty effectively. In fact, the WHATWG moves a lot quicker than W3C working groups do, precisely because the W3C insists on consensus, which means that any fool who can get an invite and with time on their hands can completely derail the process for as long as they feel like. There are a surprisingly large number of such people who are in fact paid to participate in the W3C and who basically do nothing but derail real work. This is despite the WHATWG being more open and inclusive than even the most inclusive of the W3C groups.
Posted by Ian Hickson on 2008-07-29
Such a denial of service attack doesn't have to be evil minded, in my experience. The XQuery standard took ridiculously long to develop, and this was mostly due to members of the standards group or close bystanders posting issues with the spec, which took a really long time to be sorted out. Those we're really well faithed attempts to make the spec better though, and they did, but it still took much too long. Not sure what to make of that - it was beneficial and broken at the same time.
Posted by Martin Probst on 2008-07-30
Posted by aronymous on 2008-07-29