[cabfpub] Proposed Ballot 183 (Ballot process)

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Tue Jan 10 06:40:26 UTC 2017

Thanks for your continued engagement in these subtle side cases that have
significant impact as we work through Ballot 182's consequences.

While I have responses inline, I'm curious whether Apple would object to a
resolution for these issues that treated the PAG as "like a Working Group"

What I mean by this is that the Bylaws already give significant guidance
for the formation of a WG and the selection of its chair, the voting on how
to forward something to the Forum at large, resolves the questions about
the nature/impact on things like quorum, and addresses matters such as the
participation model and Public Mail Lists. All of this is covered within
Section 5.3 of the Bylaws.

While I can see the advantages of saying it "is" a WG, we have the matter
that 7.1 says "ad-hoc", so I'm curious whether you view that as
fundamentally conflicting and irreconcilable. Setting that quibble to the
side, the only other area of potential disagreement that would stand out is
the convening - WGs are formed by Ballots with deliverables and deadlines.
As mentioned in the other mail, a 'deadline' for a PAG is useful (if it
blocks ballots), but not necessary (if they can be advanced in the event a
PAG stalls). One potential solution to this would just be to tweak the
language to state that the PAG will be convened 'as if' it was a WG
balloted to address the specific issues raised within the Ballot.

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 7:42 PM, Virginia Fournier <vfournier at apple.com>

>   a) The Bylaws read as to suggest automatic, which the IPR Policy seems
> to support (in 7.1 and 7.2), but the choice of convening in 7.3.1 implies
> that it is Balloted, by virtue of the selection of the chair requiring an
> election, our elections requiring ballots, and the convening of the PAG
> contingent upon the selection of a Chair (per 7.3.1)
> VMF:  The PAG is convened, and then they elect a Chair.  So it’s the PAG
> voting on the PAG Chair and not the full Forum voting on the PAG or PAG
> Chair.

As a practical matter, I'm not sure how this would work. Consider a PAG
that is formed which has no browser member. Currently, Forum voting is
coupled to participation, and divided into two categories - and requires
50% browsers +1 vote. A PAG with no browser participant cannot elect a
Chair, thus cannot form recommendations (per your advice below being that
the Chair determines that)

WGs at least provide a model for this (two-thirds of participants to
advance something to the Forum, Forum Chair appointing the WG Chair), which
is where some of the appeal comes from in treating it like a WG.

> VMF:  Section 7.1 states that the PAG is an “ad-hoc group.”  So it does
> not affect quorum/voting for ballots or any other matter.  Every member of
> the PAG will be able to participate/contribute.  The Chair of the PAG
> should have the discretion to determine the recommendation, based on the
> analysis performed by the PAG.

We can avoid this question entirely by using the WG model, if there's a
need for a Formal Recommendation.

Historically, the one other time we convened a PAG (to better identify the
issues prior to Ballot 169), the "recommendation" of the PAG was simply
enshrined within a Ballot by 3 members that successfully passed (and
introduced the IPR Policy v1.2). Making the recommendation "by Forum-wide
Ballot" has at least worked for the Forum in the past - and might address
the 're-vote' use case that the recommendation tries to address with the
new bylaws proposal - in that the 'vote' on the PAG recommendation serves a
functionally-equivalent purpose as a vote on the Forum-wide ballot.

> 3) What is the observation model of the PAG? Namely, does it happen on a
> Public Mail List (per 5.2 of the Bylaws) or a Member Mail List (per 5.1 of
> the Bylaws)?
>   a) If Member mail list, what would be the reasoning for that? Presumably
> it would be under 5.1(e), but highlighting that would at least aid
> transparency before we form such a PAG
> VMF:  I don’t know.  I expect the PAG would discuss that when formed.

Ballot 79 tried to ensure that Forum deliberations would be public. While I
understand you cannot provide legal advice for the Forum's members, I
suppose a more direct question: Would Apple be opposed to participating in
a PAG if the required participation model was a Public Mail List?

> 4) What reports, if any, are expected to be produced by the PAG? 5.2
> requires the production of draft/final agendas for WG Meetings and Forum
> Meetings & Teleconferences, so this goes back to the question of 2.3(h)
> regarding "Working Group", "Forum Meeting", or "something else”
> VMF:  This is an “ad-hoc group.”  Generally, the PAG would issue a written
> recommendation at the conclusion of its analysis.

I think this also is somewhat problematic in light of Ballot 79. Ballot 79
was itself borne out of the fact that Forum operated largely opaquely,
except public ballots would appear periodically, and no understanding or
context or rationale behind the decisions (or their tradeoffs) would really
be captured.

The consequence was that we (for some value of "we" within the Forum) tried
to ensure substantive deliberations were public and transparent - and for
those that weren't (CA/B Forum F2F & Telecons), that minutes would be
produced, and that there were incentives towards good minutes (namely, the
IPR entanglements based on minuted suggestions). This was captured in
Ballots 94 and 98.

Treating the PAG as "like a WG" (for some value of "like a") seems one way
to avoid this issue entirely, with the corresponding expectation that draft
agendas and minutes would be produced for the public, as it would for any
other WG.

While I could understand unease and discomfort at such a suggestion, I'm
curious if it would represent a fundamental obstacle towards Apple's
participation - that is, could you live with it being public and with those
WG-like expectations? Is there some ground for capturing that in the Bylaws?
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