[MPEG-OTSPEC] Draft AHG report for your review

Levantovsky, Vladimir Vladimir.Levantovsky at monotype.com
Wed Oct 7 18:41:14 CEST 2020

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 7:09 AM Caleb Maclennan wrote:

I second Simon's objection to section IV.

Section III does a fair enough job of summarizing activities related
to the group mandates,

Thank you.

but section IV comes across as implying that
everything is now hunky-dory and back to business as usual. Given the
ongoing allegations of abuse, the unresolved proposals for disbanding
or restructuring, and the general level of frustration with the
process I don't think it's fair to summarize as "we achieved a much
better shared understanding".

I addressed this particular part of the sentence in my previous reply to Simon. As far as allegations of abuse are concerned, I think it was already established that they are without merit – it did not happen in this AHG. At this point, I am not going to argue whether something did or didn’t happen elsewhere, but as far as ISO work is concerned – there is no relevance, we do not discuss private affairs of our members.

If I was a committee reading this report
with no background in the actual AHG activity I think I would come
away from this summary with a different perspective than I have.

The committee reading this report has a pre-conceived notion that members of the AHG are individuals who are either WG members or invited experts, and the agreement to abide by the existing processes is implied. I am not saying we have to like it, but this is no different than any other organization where members must agree to something before they can join. For many years, this group has been quite liberal, and the agreements were implied – I suspect (and concerned) things might change going forward.

I don't even agree with all of the unresolved things (for example‌I
don't support the proposal to disband the AHG at all!) but it doesn't
seem right to gloss over the actual state of affairs. Rather than all
understanding what "we need to follow", some people are actively
proposing other ways and half of us are basically trying to
work-around what we consider to be a problematic system. Yes we
understand that the ISO ship isn't going to change course for us, but
we also understand the pragmatic solution is to do a lot of work
outside of the ISO umbrella.

The decisions whether the work can be done here or elsewhere is our choice, but I think it would be unreasonable to expect that we can demand significant process changes before we agree to do the work. ISO process assumes that every member has an access to the text of the standard, that anyone can make a proposal to change or improve something, and that these proposals will be reviewed fairly by the WG who is responsible for conducting that work, while at the same time following the requirement of the process.

The proposal to extend the functionality of the COLR table is a vivid example of how things can be done, and the documented process requirements (https://github.com/MPEGGroup/OpenFontFormat/pull/5/files#diff-04c6e90faac2675aa89e2176d2eec7d8) offer sufficient details on how things can be done effectively. In the specific example of COLRv1 development, I would stipulate that everything that initially happened in googlefonts repo (https://github.com/googlefonts/colr-gradients-spec/blob/master/colr-gradients-spec.md) could now happen in this AHG – effectively we have updated our processes to allow this to happen.

The summary implies that only out of
scope work is being spun off to other venues, but there are also some
things that could have been in-scope for the AHG that are being
handled elsewhere as work arounds from a problematic venue and

I disagree. There is no such statement implied, and it would be contrary to the very nature of the ISO process. The work that leads to new proposals can happen either collaboratively within the WG (and within the AHG established by them) or outside. In either case, when a proposal is presented to WG it will be treated fairly.

Additionally a more minor point:

In Section V it would be nice if the request regarding the GH repo
could be a bit more direct, something along the lines of "be
recognized as an officially sanctioned venue for technical discussions
and issue tracking in relation to the OFF". This would bring it a
little bit farther out of limbo than the current wording that could be
read to mean that everything needed to happen in parallel. If you want
to add that final proposals still need to be run through the AHG list
that would be fine, but it would be nice if technical discussions that
happen in issues (and only in issues) there can be officially blessed
as having been part of AHG‌ activities.

Thank you, I agree this is a good suggestion, please see attached the new updated text of the report with the proposed changes.

Thank you,

On Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 10:59 AM Simon Cozens <simon at simon-cozens.org<mailto:simon at simon-cozens.org>> wrote:
> On 07/10/2020 07:07, Levantovsky, Vladimir wrote:
> > Please find attached the draft AHG report for your review and comments.
> > I would like to ask you to submit your comments no later than by end of
> > day on Wednesday, Oct. 7^th . I plan to submit this report to the WG no
> > later than the morning of Oct. 8^th – sorry for a short notice.
> Hi Vlad. Thanks so much for the work involved in pulling this together.
> I think in general it was a fair and honest summary of the past few
> months. However, I take exception to one sentence in section IV:
> "we achieved a much better shared understanding of the limitations of
> the processes we need to follow"
> This suggests that, now we all understand the processes better, there is
> an acceptance of the "need" to follow those processes. I don't think
> this is a fair representation of what has been said on this group; there
> has been considerable discussion of how to work around these processes,
> including a serious proposal to disband the AHG altogether. This does
> not, to me, sound like a group of people which has meekly accepted the
> need to follow the rules.
> S
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