[Standards] A Meta-Discussion about the Standards Process

Kevin Smith kevin.smith at isode.com
Fri Jan 17 09:29:43 UTC 2020

(Snipping bits that hopefully don’t cause a misrepresentation of Daniel’s views)

On 17 Jan 2020, at 09:18, Daniel Gultsch <daniel at gultsch.de> wrote:
> It *almost* feels like we shifted our stages to the left were Draft is
> the new Final and experimental is the new Draft. The latter is
> currently less true than the former; However I’m afraid that
> introducing a stage before experimental will make us raise the bar to
> experimental even more and complete this shift.

I won’t pretend that this is impossible.

> I also don’t think that we got here because people didn’t understand
> what Experimental meant but because people had no other choice. I mean
> if I'm a developer, somewhat outside the XSF (and every developer
> starts out like this), and I need a feature X *now* and all I see is
> an experimental XEP I have two choices; Implement that Experimental
> XEP or create something myself.

This is kinda the point I’m (failing to) make(ing) about Muhammad and Mountains. I don’t think making the barrier to entry to Experimental lower (or Draft) will change that fact, so if this assessment of the cause is right, we’ll still be in the same position - if someone wants to implement something something that’s a XEP they’ll implement it regardless of the formal state it’s in (I hope this isn’t misconstruing what you said). While reducing the number of things in the state that we believe isn’t ready to implement will reduce the surface for this, I don’t think it fundamentally addresses it.

> The truth is probably somewhere in between people not understanding
> this (and/or at least not seeing the full consequences) and our
> failure to move things to Draft more quickly. In any case I think
> those two factors are reinforcing each other and we need to stop that
> cycle.

Moving things to Draft sooner will reduce the surface, yes, but I’m not sure (see above) that it really addresses the issue.

> The answer to "people don’t understand the nuances between our 5
> different stages" can’t be "let's introduce more stages".

I think that’s possibly true - *unless* the reason that people don’t understand (or are forced to ignore, whichever) our stages is that our stages don’t map cleanly onto people’s expectations, in which case it might be reasonable to move us to the mountain.

> On interesting point about the super inbox / non working group draft
> version is that it would probably be easier to fork drafts if the
> original author is unresponsive. For example if draft-kile-mix-01 is
> not moving fast enough I could just create my own
> draft-gultsch-mix-01. However I’m not fully sure if we would want to
> do that in super inbox and/or if we couldn’t just do something similar
> in experimental.

Yes, that’s an interesting thought.


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