W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2007

Re: How to productively contribute

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 14:25:35 -0500
Message-Id: <FAE9B6CC-AA94-4286-84B5-7C463A6AAC26@robburns.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

Hi Ian,

On Jun 26, 2007, at 4:53 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
> Don't argue, research!
> [...]

I'm a bit surprised by your email. It seems a bit impatient to be  
admonish the WG members for this already. The questionnaire on tasks  
has not even closed yet. The deadlines members have set for  
themselves have also not arrived.


I would expect even more activity to occur on the email list as those  
deadlines approach. Its only after those discussions take place,  
which is a larget part of our research by the wiki no original  
research rules that you defined <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ 

Of course we're all going to advance our opinions about where we  
think the future of HTML should go. I'm not sure why you think those  
will not get distilled into excellent wiki summaries in due time.

> style=""
> alt=""
> What we do NOT need is e-mails that do not contain any use cases,  
> or any
> explanations of what problems authors are faced with, and that contain
> rhetorical questions, people "insisting" that certain changes be  
> made, and
> so forth.
> [...]

I think many of use are trying to tease out the opposing viewpoints  
to our own. Obviously there are times when we can easily imagine what  
the other side might be thinking. Other times that's not the case and  
we need this point-count-point to understand what those other views are.

However, often times as I look through these threads I'm seeing  
responses that say things like: "Well Hixie will answer you when he  
gets to read all of the emails". or  "you have to justify <em>your</ 
em> point-of-view" written to someone who just took great pains to  
justify their point-of-view. The implication is usually that the  
HTML5 draft already addresses the 'official' position. However, that  
is usually not the case. The HTML5 draft does not address many of the  
issues raised on this email list. We need those familiar with it to  
actually respond to the points raised here or how are we to draft a  
wiki page that summarizes both viewpoints.

> All this data should be carefully summarised and transcribed onto  
> the Wiki
> or other issue system, as described here:
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Jun/0003.html
> If all you are doing is arguing back and forth without doing unbiased
> research, trying to convince your fellow mailing list posters without
> actually recording the points put forward by both sides in a neutral
> We are going to base our edits on what
> information we find in the wiki. If the information in the wiki is
> missing, misleading, or biased, then we'll have to just do what we  
> think
> is best instead, which is likely to be misinformed.

Again, this is the catch 22.  Each of us raising our concerns here  
are not getting responses that could even begin to serve as the other  
side of the argument so that we can write wiki articles that actually  
record "the points put forward by both sides". In other words we're  
not getting the other side from this discussion: the side that  
explains or justifies or provides the HTML5 draft position on these  
issues. As it currently stands the wiki pages for these threads can  
<em>only</em> reflect the one point-of-view because the opposing view- 
points simply point to the current draft (which does not answer any  
of the concerns). So unless this changes or you relax the position  
that the wiki page has to divine the reasons for the current draft, I  
can't imagine you're going to find "unbiased" wiki pages charitably  
reflecting all points-of-view.

> Consider that for every opinion you may have, there is bound to be  
> someone
> with the opposite opinion who can shout it louder and longer. It  
> doesn't
> matter what your opinion is (or what my opinion is, or what Hyatt's
> opinion is, or what Dan's opinion is). There is no point canvasing for
> support for an idea. Proposals and features have to stand on their  
> merits.

Again, weren't we all invited here to present our ideas and to help  
determine the merit of all of the various proposals? Again I think  
this suggests we should focus on the design principles as our first  
publishing goal: both to familiarize the working group with those  
design principles and help us decide what we mean by meritorious.

Take care,
Received on Wednesday, 27 June 2007 19:25:55 UTC

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