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So I guess the first question is where do Working Groups come from? My own opinion is that our rules are somewhat lacking in terms of a process by which WG’s are formed. For that matter, they are equally lacking in terms of the process followed to restart a WG. Off hand it appears that they simply pop into existence by a vote of the EC. But for sure Working Groups should only exist if they have at least one assigned task to do. Normally we say a WG without an active PAR goes into Hibernation. However if we look at SA Standards Board Operations Manual we find:
5.2 Project authorization
No formal activity shall take place after six months from the day of the first meeting of the working group
without formal submittal of a PAR to the IEEE-SA Standards Board and assignment of a project number (see
6.1.1 Project Authorization Request (PAR)
As part of the initial PAR procedure, the committee or working group shall appoint a chair (or official
reporter) who shall sign a Copyright Agreement acknowledging that the proposed standard constitutes a
“work made for hire” as defined by the Copyright Act, and that as to any work not so defined, any rights or
interest in the copyright to the standards publication is transferred to the IEEE.
So clearly their intent is that the WG comes before the PAR. This presents a bit of a chicken and egg problem. In my recollection within 802, the only way a PAR comes into existence these days is by first having a Study Group study the matter. If that SG develops a draft PAR, and the EC determines a new WG is needed to pursue that PAR, “POP” the WG comes into existence. In my mind the SG plays the role of the pre-PAR WG. I don’t believe the SA is cognizant of SG’s or gives them any status. These seem to be an 802 unique thing (though I could be wrong). However, I would not normally expect a WG to come into existence without first a debate as to where the work belongs, and an EC SG to at least determine if the work is appropriate for 802. Apparently none of these steps occurred for 802.10, which surprises me. I guess there could be such strong consensus when the issue was first raised to the EC that there was no need for an EC level SG, and the WG could simply pop into existence. My own preference would be that a WG not come into existence until at least one PAR has been well defined for it to work on. However, if a WG were to pop into existence without a PAR, I would hope that except for electing officers, they would initially operate in SG mode to develop a PAR, since they can’t exist for long without one. And I would hope that all the members of the WG were members of the SG, or else why would they be there? Can their be a Task Group without a PAR? Near as I can tell our rules don’t really deal with Task Groups either. So frankly, I am confused.
Could you provide more details on the formation of 802.10? How did you get to your first PAR?
I'd like to throw my 2 cents in here and stir the pot a little more. In Mat's second paragraph below, he alludes to a Working Group evolving from a Study Group (which happens to be the method by which WGs have come into existence in the recent past) and that a WG doesn't pop into existence. In fact, 802.10 did not evolve from a SG -- it "popped" into existence from work that began outside 802. At the very first meeting of .10 everyone that attended was granted voting rights, and the Chair (who had not previously participated in 802) had Exec voting rights at the next Plenary. Is it the expectation that this will NEVER happen again in 802?
Unless there is an "unwritten rule" that everyone on the current Exec knows (except me, since I haven't been around in a while) that ALL new WGs will ONLY come from SGs that have been spun off from existing WGs (and therefore people have been building up credits toward voting rights in the manner specified in the P&P), then I think the Exec needs to keep the current practice of awarding membership to all who attend the first meeting of a new WG. (Sorry for the run-on paragraph.) If this is really the case, then I think there may be some shortsightedness on the part of the Exec, as to where new 802 projects might come from.