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

Community input Re: A bit of electioneering...

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 11:59:40 +0100
To: "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.t1415qxvwxe0ny@widsith.local>

On Wed, 21 Nov 2007 01:21:23 +0100, James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> Karl Dubost wrote:
>> Le 20 nov. 2007 à 06:59, Ian Hickson a écrit :
>>> an idea usually has to have a lot of demand to get
>>> beyond the proposal stage.
>> Hmm not sure about that. I haven't read handful of messages craving for  
>> all apis.
>> With this criteria, that would even discard them altogether. It really  
>> depends in which community you are asking.
> I get the impression that some people believe that HTML 5 has not had  
> sufficient feedback from particular user communities. Assuming I am not  
> mistaken in this impression, it would be interesting to see concrete  
> suggestions for gathering feedback from groups for whom the channels  
> already available to comment on the spec have not been adequate.

It is a truism that we don't get enough feedback. Whatever the process.  
Some simple examples: HTML5 at WHAT-WG suffered from the lack of any  
patent policy, and so feedback was not delivered by people who had  
concerns about the patent landscape. The draft is not readily available  
except in english, and the high volume of discussion more or less  
automatically precludes non-english speakers.

So off the top of my head...

One has been to move the work to W3C, where the patent policy is at least  
clearer. Done :)

Publishing a concise summary of the changes compared to something already  
better known, such as HTML 4, allows people to understand what the  
hundreds of pages they get are trying to say, which is a help to reading  
them. Also done at least in an initially useful form.

Publish regular, stable, formal public drafts for feedback (and  
systematically addressing that feedback in a timely and visible manner see  
below). I have noted (oh, only much too often) that this is an explicit  
request from developers in certain countries who are not strong english  
speakers (and these are the ones whose english is good enough to  
correspond with me in english). About to happen for the first time?

Publishing translations of the formal stable drafts, to allow  
non-english-speaking communities to gather their thoughts, shake them  
around, translate them back to english, and then work through ensuing  
discussion. This is very resource-intensive, but important for many  
languages - the one where I have most experience is Spanish, and that is  
in a community relatively culturally close to this working group. I think  
anyone who claims this was done sufficiently at the end of the process is  
likely to be folling themselves or just not looking very widely, but the  
more of it that can happen the better.

Clear raising and disposing of issues. The current system of simply  
throwing everything into the maelstrom of several different mailing lists,  
with decision making processes being more or less completely opaque, is  
pretty alienating for a large segment of the community who simply give up.  
We have a system to try and do this now...

That would be a start. There is, of course, a need in the real world for a  
spec to be shipped, which is in tension with the desire for sufficient  
feedback. As Maciej says, we might finish HTML 5 but it will be a lot  
longer before we finish HTML (unless we suddenly decide to replace it with  
some CSS-based language or something...).



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals              Try the Kestrel - Opera 9.5 alpha
Received on Wednesday, 21 November 2007 11:00:12 UTC

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