[cabfpub] Prepare ballot to allow Chair/Vice-Chair to make informative (not normative) changes to Final Guidelines and Final Maintenance Guidelines

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Tue Sep 3 15:50:03 UTC 2019

On Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 11:36 AM Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) via Public <
public at cabforum.org> wrote:

> Dear Members,
> Following up on recent discussions,
>    - At the last F2F in Thessaloniki
>    <https://cabforum.org/2019/08/16/minutes-for-ca-browser-forum-f2f-meeting-47-thessaloniki-12-13-june-2019/#Instructions-for-creating-ballots-and-challenges-for-moving-canonical-versions-of-all-Guidelines-to-GitHub>
>    - On the server certificate WG list
>    <https://cabforum.org/pipermail/servercert-wg/2019-August/000896.html>
> and since the current Bylaws (version 2.2) do not address how the Chair or
> Vice-Chair could make any changes whatsoever to the Final Guidelines or
> Final Maintenance Guidelines, I would like to prepare a ballot with some
> administrative language that would allow the Forum or WG Chair (or
> Vice-Chair) to make some changes to Final Guidelines and Final Maintenance
> Guidelines. Please note that these practices are already in place and have
> been followed for years without any "official" approval from the Forum or a
> WG and without having received any objections by the Membership.
> Since this is language that would normally be in the Bylaws, and while we
> have other issues pending to discuss
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EtrIy3F5cPge0_M-C8J6fe72KcVI8H5Q_2S6S31ynU0>,
> I would like to propose to ballot these issues separately and once we
> collect a few, we could update the Bylaws including language for all these
> separate issues. I understand that we don't want to make too frequent
> changes to our Bylaws because it involves legal reviews that take
> additional time, etc.
I don't believe this can be solely done by a change to the Bylaws; I
believe it would have to be the Bylaws and the SCWG Charter, since the SCWG
would need to designate what part of the Final Guidelines / Final
Maintenance Guidelines it adopts are informative and may be edited as such.
Does that match your understanding?

> I would like to start with what seems to be an uncontroversial issue.
> There seems to be consensus to allow the Chair or Vice-Chair to update
> informative (non-normative) sections of the Guidelines. Here is a list of
> changes that the Chair or Vice-Chair should be allowed to do on a Final
> Guideline or Final Maintenance Guideline before it is published on our
> public web site and without requiring a ballot procedure:
>    1. The cover page,
> This is only for the version number, right?

>    1.
>    2. The Table of Contents
>    3. Headers/Footers with version numbers and page numbers
>    4. The table with document revisions or Document History
>    5. The table with Relevant Dates, unless the ballot explicitly updates
>    this table
> I would also recommend removing the first paragraph of the EV Guidelines
> which reads:
> "This version 1.7.0 represents the Extended Validation Guidelines, as
> adopted by the CA/Browser Forum as of Ballot SC17, passed by the Forum on
> 21 May 2019 and effective as of 21 June 2019." I believe it's redundant
> because this information is included in the revision history table and the
> public web site.
Note that the current "effective as of" refers to the document's adoption
per our IP review period completing, while the Document History table
refers to the effective date of various provisions. You can see this in
some of the dates within the existing history table; for example, it wasn't
until Ballot 198 (Version 1.6.3) that the Effective Date began aligning
with the completion of the IP Review Period, except it then diverged by
Ballot 217 (version 1.6.8)

I highlight this, because there's two elements / two updates:
1) The version circulated for IP review, which presumably will only be
missing the "Effective" date
2) The version posted to the Website, which would then be updated following
the adoption

Does that match your understanding?

> Are there any comments or additional changes that members would like to
> see before I start drafting some language? I plan on having something ready
> by the end of next week.
>From past discussion, but not specified here, it would seem that implicit
in this is a desire to allow the Chair or Vice-Chair to determine the
versioning, and prohibiting it via Ballot. Is that correct? That is, only
#5 on your list is reserved as "unless the ballot explicitly updates this
table", so it's unclear if it's meant that the first four can override a
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