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Dear W3C: once again, you have scheduled your yearly technical plenary meeting (when many of the working groups get together at the same time, in the same place) over the Halloween holiday.

I have two young daughters, age 2 and 7. I refuse to miss out on the seeing them dress up for Halloween, and leading them around the neighborhood to trick-or-treat, as I have my own happy childhood memories of this. As valuable as I believe the TPAC meetings are, sharing these memories with my children is priceless.

Thus, I will not be attending the TPAC this fall, nor will I be available on October 31st any year in the future (until my daughters are old enough to refuse to let their daddy go with them). Please avoid this scheduling mistake in the future, as I am sure I am not the only parent of young children who would like to participate in the TPAC and in my offspring's childhood. KTHXBAI.
TPAC 2012 brings together participants in the W3C Community for an energetic week of coordinated work and discussion. People in Working, Interest Groups Incubator Groups, the Advisory Board, the TAG, ...
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I know that it's hard scheduling meetings so that it doesn't interfere with various holidays. But I'm not seeing any holidays that need to be accommodated from mid-October to mid-November.

(One conference I attended for several years was always held over Mother's Day. It frustrated me no end to spend that day in a hotel instead of with my son.)
+Char James-Tanny Did you mis-type? Chris's post was about a holiday between mid-Oct and mid-Nov that he would like to be accounted for.
My apologies, Tab. I did mis-type...I meant other than Halloween. (I'd edit my comment but I think that will mess up the thread.) And I should have clarified that I didn't see any holidays (other than Halloween) within that range, but that my calendar doesn't list all holidays for all countries, just a select few.

Having been involved in scheduling conferences and meetings for a global audience, I am aware of how hard it is to find an open time that doesn't interfere with something. And I do understand that sometimes there's no choice but to schedule a meeting on someone's holiday. What isn't fair is scheduling a meeting on the same holiday every year (which is what I ran into with Mother's Day for about 7 years when my son was small).
+Char James-Tanny exactly. Last year I skipped the first day and morning of the second day, so I could be home on Halloween night. This year that's not an option - Halloween is in the middle of the week, and the TPAC is in France. I'd only get to attend one day, which isn't worth the travel.
I think the correct response here is "yay, I have an excuse to skip TPAC!"...
For children, it's one of the most important holidays. You get tons of candy, you hang out with friends, you have a lax dress code. Good times.
For my older daughter, it is THE holiday.
+Chris Wilson but seriously, I flew from Montreal to the Bay Area last year and missed out on Halloween at home. Luckily my kids did costumes for school on the previous Friday, so we got to enjoy the dress-up part.
Hi Chris, thanks for letting us know. We try to respect a lot of constraints (like distribution of the meeting in various countries, not conflicting with IETF which is 4-9 November, etc.). We also try to keep the cost down. This venue (which participants liked in 2010) is significantly less expensive during the French school holidays. We will be more thoughtful about conflicting with Halloween in 2013 and sorry we'll miss you in 2012. Please also tell your kids that monsters are very real and live under their beds.
I just saw this post (thanks to Chris letting me know) and having previously not seen it, wrote up similar feedback on the W3C wiki last week:

+Ian Jacobs I sympathize with the scheduling challenge that TPAC must present. Nonetheless, despite not being a parent myself (though I'm an uncle thrice over), I think conflicting with Halloween is an unreasonable sacrifice to ask parents to make. Thanks for considering this feedback when scheduling future TPACs.
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