Tracking proposals should be standardized with issues

Bob Myers rtm at gol.com
Sat May 14 05:02:11 UTC 2016


This entire process is quite unfriendly to grassroots proposals and I hope
it can be tweaked.

> All proposals that are officially considered by TC39 have to have been
submitted in conformance with the Ecma IPR policies including the RF patent
policy and the software  copyright policy.

Is putting a proposal into the stage 0 list, so people can see it,
considered to be "officially considered by TC39"? There is already a
mechanism in place (registration) for anyone to agree to the IPR policies.

> A TC39 member champion is necessary for a proposal in order to get items
on meeting agendas and to lead meeting discussions relating to the
proposal.

Fine, but before we get to meetings and agendas we are talking about just
putting a proposal on the list of stage 0 proposals so it's on the radar.

The CONTRIBUTING.md file you reference explicitly states (my emphasis):

> Ecma TC39 accepts contributions from *non-member individuals who have
accepted the TC39 copyright and patent policies*.

This seems to be in conflict with what I understand you are saying. Is it
wrong? If so, can someone fix it?

But then later in the document it says

> convince others that your proposal is a useful addition to the language
and recruit TC39 members

and

> If you have a new proposal you want to get into the language, you first
need a TC39 champion

Is there a distinction here between a "contribution" and a "proposal"?

Then in https://tc39.github.io/process-document/, it says that there is a
"strawman" stage 0 and lists the "Entrance Requirements" as "none". In the
same document, it says

> Ideas for evolving the ECMAScript language are accepted in any form. Any
discussion, idea or proposal for a change or addition which has not been
submitted as a formal proposal is considered to be a “strawman” (stage 0)
and *has no acceptance requirements*. Such submissions must either come
from members of TC39 or from *non-members who have registered via Ecma
International*.

Is this incorrect? If so, it should be fixed.

> I agree that TC39 could do a better job at providing an in-take process.
For example, it could have a “Request for consideration” channel and a
regular agenda item to solicit members who may have an interest in
championing such requests. But setting that up requires some TC39 member(s)
 who are interested in championing that process change and managing it
going forward.

Hmmm, a champion for a process to find champions? One idea that springs to
mind is to have a forward-looking TC39 member agree to serve as interim
champion for grassroots proposals from non-insiders, although they would
need to be able to reject extremely poor proposals.

By the way, the current stage 0 list at
https://github.com/tc39/proposals/blob/master/stage-0-proposals.md starts
off by saying that "Stage 0 proposals have been presented to the
committee", but then includes proposals with the rocket ship icon which are
"as not yet presented to the committee". Which is it? Are stage 0 proposals
supposed to be presented to the committee to acquire that status, or not,
or it varies? It's also worth noting that a number of these stage 0
proposals are very old, and/or their docs indicate they have been
superseded, or in one case have no link to anything, Is there any process
for removing things from the stage 0 list?

My two cents.

--
Bob






On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 11:48 PM, Allen Wirfs-Brock <allen at wirfs-brock.com>
wrote:

>
> On May 12, 2016, at 9:25 PM, G. Kay Lee <
> balancetraveller+es-discuss at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Okay, I found a [list of TC39 member organizations](
> http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/TC39-RF-TG%20-%20members.htm)...
> it's hidden in some really obscure corner on the website and there's no way
> to tell if it's up-to-date, but still a nice reference to have. +1 for
> putting this info onto GitHub with additional info of regular
> representatives.
>
>
> the complete Ecma “memento” (
> http://www.ecma-international.org/news/Ecma%20International%20has%20published%20its%20annual%20yearbook%20Ecma%20Memento%202016.htm
> ) is updated every January.
>
> I believe the page you reference is updated whenever a new organization
> signs the TC39-RFTG registration form.
>
>
> I still believe that there is something wrong with the current way we're
> treating proposals from members and non-members. According to the [TC39
> process](https://tc39.github.io/process-document/) per se, a stage 0
> proposal really means nothing serious... It's essentially just a physical
> parallel of opening a thread on an internet forum/ML so further discussions
> and debates can start to happen, during the TC39 meetings in this case. A
> stage 0 "thread" can still die quick due to a lack of responses and
> interests.
>
>
> All proposals that are officially considered by TC39 have to have been
> submitted in conformance with the Ecma IPR policies including the RF patent
> policy and the software  copyright policy. See
> http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/Ecma%20IPR%20policies.htm and
> https://github.com/tc39/ecma262/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md
>
> Basically, anything that amounts to a proposal and is stored on the TC39
> github project or discussed at a TC39 meeting has to be contributed under
> those terms.
>
>
> But a lot of non-member contributions were denied of this basic
> opportunity to "post a thread" - certainly, they can post here on the ML,
> but the ML is hardly a suitable medium to collaborate and push things
> forward. The [pipe operator proposal](
> https://github.com/mindeavor/es-pipeline-operator) has garnered a lot of
> attentions and interests, with heated discussions happening here as well as
> across other places, but eventually just died down when people found out
> that they couldn't even get a simple yes-or-no-for-stage-0 from any TC39
> representative [after one month](
> https://esdiscuss.org/topic/the-pipeline-operator-making-multiple-function-calls-look-great)
> of time. And remember that stage 0 simply means starting discussions in a
> more formal physical setting.
>
>
> A TC39 member champion is necessary for a proposal in order to get items
> on meeting agendas and to lead meeting discussions relating to the
> proposal.  If no member delegate is interested enough in a proposal to
> champion it then that proposal just isn’t going to get any traction within
> TC39.
>
>
>
> Why not just allow proposers to chime in remotely during a TC39 meeting
> with their proposals? This helps the whole standardization effort by:
>
>
> Because Ecma TC39 is a member-based Standards Defining Organization that
> operates under rules established by the Ecma General Assembly. Some of the
> most important of those rules related to the IPR policies and require that
> non-member contributors follow certain steps.  (Note that Ecma calls
> proposals and other technical documents “contributions”.  This is a
> reflection that those documents be being “contributed" to Ecma and the
> certain IP rights  are transferred in the process).
>
>
> * Allowing every proposal an equal opportunity to be scrutinized and
> discussed, with clear and organized feedbacks from member representatives
> on why or why not the proposal in question can be considered.
>
> * Reducing the chaos on the ML that similar or even identical proposals
> repeatedly being raised from their graves over the years because of the
> lack of conclusive verdict from representatives, or that the verdict is
> being buried somewhere in the deep abyss of piles of discussions.
>
>
> I agree that TC39 could do a better job at providing an in-take process.
> For example, it could have a “Request for consideration” channel and a
> regular agenda item to solicit members who may have an interest in
> championing such requests.
>
> But setting that up requires some TC39 member(s)  who are interested in
> championing that process change and managing it going forward.
>
>
> * Make things more open and equal and united; proposals should be treated
> and reacted upon solely by its quality and content, not by the employer of
> the proposer. It's certainly not of the best interests for the language if
> we divide people into major and minor leagues by their employment.
>
>
> Again, Ecma TC39 is a formal organization. Not just an ad hoc group of
> participants.  It must operate under rules established by Ecma.  Part of
> those rules is that Ecma member have a different status than non-members.
> TC39 members have worked hard over the years to stretch those rules in ways
> that permit both transparancy and progressively increasing non-member
> participation.
>
>
>
> To counter the potential influx of proposals, we can and maybe should add
> additional rules for stage 0 proposals, for example:
>
> * A stage 0 proposal MUST be presented by its proposer - either physically
> or remotely - to TC39 meetings 6 months within its acceptance into stage 0,
> or it will be automatically rejected.
>
> This will also give people a more concrete impression that all stage-0s
> are just nothing more than some "ideas", are subjected to total overhaul or
> even being nullified, and that they shouldn't really enable the stage-0
> preset in Babel all over the place. The general impression is that
> stage-0s, while may be sitting there for an indefinite amount of time, will
> most likely make ways into the standard eventually, so people are becoming
> reckless with stage-0 syntaxes or additions. A rule like that can certainly
> make both proposers and transpiler users be more careful and responsible
> for their works.
>
>
> Ultimately, such process issues will have to be decided by TC39. But, as
> mentioned above, this require some members to actually champion the process
> changes within TC39 and follow through with implementing any consensus that
> is reached. If there are TC39 delegate who are interested in this they
> should start by placing a process proposal on a meeting agenda or by
> starting a discussion on the internal  ML that goes to all mbers.
>
> Allen
>
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>
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