[cabfpub] Pre-Ballot 206 - Amendment to IPR Policy & Bylaws re Working Group Formation

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Mon Jan 22 09:42:20 UTC 2018

On 19/01/18 20:30, Wayne Thayer via Public wrote:
> I don't think this statement is obviously true.  The current bylaws
> define these "subcommittees" (called Working Groups) - the new bylaws do
> not. So one reasonable interpretation is that they can no longer exist.
> For example, if we go to appoint a chair and create a mailing list for a
> new "subcommittee", what are the odds that someone will say "you can't
> do that - there is no such thing as a subcommittee and what you're
> really doing is creating a new WG without following the process?"

Well, you aren't creating a new WG because that would require a charter
and new IPR signatures and so on. If something is under the aegis of an
existing WG, that WG's charter and IPR signatures would continue to
apply, and only members of the WG could be involved in the
sub-committee. Meetings of such a group would be treated as meetings of
the whole insofar as minutes etc. were concerned, and anyone could
"join" or "leave" at any time.

I see sub-committees as like 4 people going off into a separate room for
half an hour at a face-to-face to hash out the technical details of a
particularly thorny problem, then coming back and presenting a proposal
to the group.

I can see how it might be useful to have this possibility at least
mentioned in the bylaws, for the avoidance of doubt, but I don't think
it's totally necessary.

> The new bylaws imply that the existing WGs will become new WGs in
> section 5.3.4 - Legacy Working Groups. However some fundamental flaws
> have been pointed out with this structure in the case where the WG's
> purpose involves server certificates.

Yes. We definitely don't want multiple WGs covering server certificates.
The existing WGs in that category need to either go away, or become
subcommittees of the Server Certificate WG.


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