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Editor and authors Re: HTML5 proposal response

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 17:34:34 +0900
Message-Id: <54BC1C7A-8596-4EA8-B5E8-100FF2A8B4DB@w3.org>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>

Hi,

Here I will share my experience with what we did with [QA Framework:  
Specification Guidelines][1]. There is more than one model to edit a  
specification.

	An editor is not an author.

Le 20 avr. 2007 à 08:28, Chris Wilson a écrit :
> 3)  As a co-chair of this Working Group, I feel strongly that it  
> would be a disservice to the integrity and openness of the spec to  
> have a single editor (and I would point out that HTML 4.01 had  
> three editors, and CSS 2.1 has four) - it sets up a dictatorship,  
> benevolent though it might seem.  I additionally have a severe  
> concern with the proposed mode of working that Ian has espoused [1]  
> - that, in short, the HTML WG is just another source of input into  
> the specification.  In my opinion, the HTML WG owns their own  
> specification.  Multiple editors would help eliminate that problem.

I make a very strong difference between an editor and an author. An  
editor is someone in charge of putting the pieces together, of making  
it ready and coherent to be ready for publication

	"a person who works for a publishing company,
	 commissioning or preparing material for
	 publication."

The way we worked in the former QA Working Group is that we had  
strict template rules for writing content. A kind of mini guidebook  
for writing a section. We even went as far to publish our  
[publication process][2] in the specification itself as an example.  
The [detailed process][3] is given in terms of a template and  
requirements to edit a section AND guidelines to help the author to  
write the section.

Why and how the [process][3] was important?

* Less burden on the editor for producing content
* Specifications not at risk because done by one person
* Engage real participations of people in the WG
* Maintain uniformity in the writing style
* Help to make review of the materials (eXtreme Programming one is  
writing, one is reading)
* Atomic pieces are a lot more easier to move forward
* A piece is ready when it has been completed by the author
* It is *very* satisfying for members of the WG to be able to say I  
have written this part.
* The editor(s) have a role of review, and quality control, stability  
of language and vocabulary, etc.
* When two persons are really debating an issue, it becomes easier to  
ask them to write the content following the template and to have a  
review. The editor puts it in the spec when it is ready.
* There are plenty of authors in a group, not many people with  
editorial competences
* It helps the share to manage the work and distribute it
* the specification is *owned* by the group.


[1]: http://www.w3.org/TR/qaframe-spec/
[2]: http://www.w3.org/TR/qaframe-spec/#practice-principle
[3]: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-qa-wg/2004Jun/0023


-- 
Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager, QA Activity Lead
   QA Weblog - http://www.w3.org/QA/
      *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Friday, 20 April 2007 08:36:29 UTC

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