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RE: Leading the Forefront - with IRC ! ?

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 04:39:32 +0100
Message-Id: <p06240609c22a39c3101e@[192.168.0.101]>
To: <public-html@w3.org>

At 11:57 +0000 UTC, on 2007-03-23, Gavin Pearce wrote:

> [...] just because something worked in the past, doesn't
> mean it's right for the future.

That's just as true as "just because something is new doesn't mean it is
suitable for a particular task".

IMO Web forums are far less useful (at least for this particular task) than
mailing lists, if only because with email everybody has the freedom to choose
their own preferred UI, editor, etc. and can keep their on archive, off-line.

> So far things seem a mess. Can anyone truly
> tell me exactly what stage we are at, every idea we have had already, and
> peoples views on that idea?

Why exactly would it be necessary for someone to be able to tell you that?

FWIW, the way it works on the whatwg mailing list is Ian takes the arguments
and transforms them into spec material. If someone feels their input is
ignored, they can draw attention to that. And the better you formulate your
proposals/arguments (including 'proper' quoting, providing a descriptive
Subject header[*], etc.), the better the chance that what you have to say
won't be missed by others.

My impression is this works pretty well for the WHATWG mailing list.

[1] For this thread, something like "communication tools for this WG" would
have been much more descriptive[2], for example. Makes it easier for you to
later find this thread to look up at what everybody had to say on this
subject.

[2] In my reply I could have changed the Subject header, but no doubt it
would only fragement the thread.

> It would be good, for example, to be able to go back and look at everyone's
> comments on <abbr>, without picking through my inbox.

I don't see how you could provide such an overview without a human bothering
to create it by summarizing, which in turn risks that your opinion gets filed
incorrectly, which means everybody'd still have to bother to verify that
summaries of their arguments are correct.

Having said that. On the WHATWG mailing list Ian now and then posts summaries
of arguments on a subject, which seems to work quite well. If someone doesn't
see his argument represented, he can simply point that out.

[...]

> [...] This is the future of the web we're
> talking about, and we're handling it using tech from the past.

What's wrong with TCP/IP?

[...]

> Difference between a this mailing list and a move advanced one is user
> options

Define "advanced".

What user options are you missing where?

> , better online viewing

Define "better". It looks[*] like
<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/> offers mbox archives, so
even people who subscrie later and thus missed earlier messages can get a
complete archive and use whatever tool they prefer to present the mbox.

[*] I say "looks", because it isn't public and doesn't accept my
user/passphrase combo. I don't know if I'm actually not allowed access, or
I'm just doing something wrong.

> [...] Why are we so worried to try something new?

You're talking in extremely general terms. Newness in itself isn't a valid
argument. You may well be quite right that something more is needed, but it
would be more convincing if you would clearly describe exactly what is
currently missing and how approach x or tool y would solve that without
generating a new problem. This is no different then proposing a new HTML
element ;)

> Sorry for the mess - just a collection of ideas as I think through.

Your point exactly ;)


-- 
Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Saturday, 24 March 2007 03:45:50 GMT

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