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

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Tue Sep 3 16:13:46 UTC 2019

On 2019-09-03 6:50 μ.μ., Ryan Sleevi wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 11:36 AM Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) via 
> Public <public at cabforum.org <mailto: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?

Version and effective date, and probably the year in the "Copyright" footer.

>     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?

The correct "effective date" is when the IP review is complete and no 
essential claims are filed. This is the only date that should be in the 
"Effective" column of table 1.2.1. The "Adopted" column should be the 
date of the initial voting when the ballot passed. If you check version 
1.6.4, you can see that we had 3 ballots, 3 different "Adopted" dates 
but one "Effective" date when the IP review was completed. We usually 
first send the results to the public list so documents are published on 
the web site a bit later. However, the date of publication on the web 
site is not related to the effective date of the document. Does this 
answer the question?

>     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 ballot.

I deliberately left this out because I would like to discuss the 
document version issue on a separate ballot because I am not sure how 
controversial or not it would be. At this point, I would not like the 
first four to be overridden by the ballot. Is that ok, for now?

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