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Editor skills and funding (was: Looking for more editors and Editors)

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 07:23:55 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0809010523u7e19e843v237213dbbac4b37b@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, mike@w3.org, connolly@w3.org, timbl@w3.org
Cc: jbrewer@w3.org, "Julian Reschke" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, alfred.s.gilman@ieee.org, public-html@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, ian@hixie.ch

Ian Hickson wrote:

> Editing a spec to the level of quality of HTML5 requires:

Among skills for a HTML 5 editor, I would add:

- Someone of integrity who believes in consensus and supports accessibility.
- Someone with strong listening skills as well as evidence of the
ability to work well as part of a collaborative team.
- A neutral party who doesn't have an axe to grind or a corporate row to plow.
- A person who could serve as a stabilizing factor and provide balance.

I know that the Chairs have been seeking editors who ask ahead of time
for PFWG advice when needed. And someone who will collaborate with the
experts in advance and listen to them. [1]

With a specification as important as HTML5, it would be very
beneficial if the  W3C could provide funding for a neutral third party
editor. Dan, Chris, Mike, and Tim, could the W3C do that?

Best Regards,
Laura

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2008Apr/0075.html


On 8/31/08, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:
> Julian wrote [1]:
>
>> Anyway, if each feedback loop takes two years we have a serious problem
>> that we need to fix, for instance by installing more editors (or
>> encouraging the second editor to actually do editorial work).
>
> Yes, something to keep in mind is that the working group decision on
> editors was for two editors[2] not one.  Ian was supposed to be an
> editor. Dave Hyatt was supposed to be an editor.
>
> In April 2007 regarding his nomination as co-editor, Dave wrote [3] to
> Dan on public-html:
>> I can assure you that my perspective will not be identical to Ian's.
>
> Back in November 2007 Gregory asked:
>> and i am concerned that dave hyatt is a semi-mythical being...  when
>> will he speak for himself on list, let alone participate in HTML WG
>> teleconferences?
>
> To that Dave replied  [4]:
>> I will have more time to participate now that Leopard has shipped.
>
> Dave has posted 46 times to public-html [5]. The last one was over
> five months ago on March 10.
>
> Best Regards,
> Laura
>
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Aug/0959.html
> [2] http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/htmlbg/results#xhtml5eds
> [3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/1358.html
> [4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Nov/0035.html
> [5]
> http://www.w3.org/Search/Mail/Public/advanced_search?keywords=&hdr-1-namesubject&hdr-1-query=&hdr-2-name=from&hdr-2-query=hyatt%40apple.com&hdr-3-name=messageid&hdr-3-query=&period_month=&period_year=&index-grp=Public__FULL&index-type=t&type-index=public-html&resultsperpage=100&sortby=date

On 9/1/08, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
>
> On Sun, 31 Aug 2008, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>
>> Anyway, if each feedback loop takes two years we have a serious problem
>> that we need to fix, for instance by installing more editors [...]
>
> I've been asking for people to volunteer to actually take parts of HTML5
> and edit them for years now. The problem is that very few people are
> actually willing to invest the (large) amount of time and effort required.
> There are a number of areas where we've actually tried finding editors:
>
> * The Window object. I totally removed all the text for this from HTML5,
> the WebAPI group started a new spec, we got an editor for the spec, and
> the spec languished. I needed the Window object to be specced out because
> HTML5 features left and right depend on it, but the spec just bit-rotted.
> I ended up being forced to remerge everything back into HTML5 just so that
> I could fix the issues people were raising. Both removing the features and
> readding them were a giant amount of work, and thus the net result was a
> delay of several weeks in the spec's development.
>
> * XMLHttpRequest. This has been a success story because we have a strong
> editor behind the spec. XHR started in HTML5, and I did a lot of the
> initial work, but eventually Anne volunteered to work on it and I moved
> all the XHR feedback over to him.
>
> * The Selectors API. Not technically something that was ever in HTML5, but
> people kept suggesting it and wanting to implement it, so I eventually put
> a placeholder in place and it was only because Anne volunteered that we
> were able to avoid speccing it in HTML5 (or getting proprietary
> extensions, which is the alternative). Lachlan is now working on this
> spec.
>
> * The Bindings for DOM requirements. Not technically something that is in
> HTML5, but it would have been had it not been for heycam volunteering to
> edit the spec to define this. heycam is busy though, and development of
> this spec has been slow at times.
>
> * The new Alternative Stylesheet API (implemented in Moz and Safari). The
> API was moved to the CSSOM spec, which has, again, basically died, despite
> theoretically having an editor. This feature isn't critical to the rest of
> the spec, so it's not a huge deal that it has died, but it _does_ mean
> that we can't fix the interoperability problems between Mozilla and
> Safari. I may end up reintegrating this to get the interop gain (which is
> the whole point of having specs).
>
> * setTimeout(). I moved the text for that section to a separate section of
> HTML5 labelled "things to be removed" or some such. Nobody has done
> anything that would take that text and spec it in another document, even
> though this would be a very small amount of work relative to everything
> else. I may end up having to reintegrate this into the rest of the spec,
> especially now that we have the event loop / task queue mechanism defined.
>
> * The WHATWG wiki has a "companion specifications" page that lists
> features that are currently dead, due to lack of editors. All of those
> features need an editor desperately; they are getting no progress at all
> right now.
>
> I've been looking for editors myself for years, though with very minimal
> results -- Lachlan, Anne, and heycam have begun editing some specs, but
> they are not able to work on this full time, which is what we really need.
>
> Editing a spec to the level of quality of HTML5 requires:
>
> - experience writing Web pages and Web applications.
>
> - experience writing test suites for browsers.
>
> - experience with prioritisation of bug fixing for browser development.
>
> - the ability to write tools to perform studies of Web content.
>
> - an understanding of how the Web is supposed to work (standards) and how
> it actually works (browser bugs, common authoring mistakes).
>
> - contacts within the industry, especially in browser vendors, who trust
> you and are willing to work with you (e.g. letting you know about
> standards-related security problems before they fix them, working with you
> to find good solutions; letting you know their needs based on their future
> products even before they announce them; etc).
>
> - the ability to actually write technical specifications that don't leave
> anything undefined.
>
> - the ability to take many view points and make a decision based on them.
>
> - the ability to defend a decision and resist flip-flopping.
>
> - the ability to respond to feedback in detail in a manner that is
> comprehensible and clear.
>
> - the willingness to seek out more feedback and actively recruit
> participants and opinions.
>
> - a good technical grounding and understanding of fundamental computer and
> programming concepts.
>
> - a pragmatic attitude that is willing to put the needs of the users,
> authors, and implementors (in that order) far ahead of technical purity.
>
> If anyone actually has the skills, time, and willingness to do a serious
> job of editing parts of HTML5 (or any of the other Web specs that
> desperately need editors): please let me know so that I can get you set
> up. There are a number of small things you can start with that are
> important but wouldn't be too much work; they would help you determine
> whether you are able to commit to a larger effort.
>
> --
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Monday, 1 September 2008 12:24:32 GMT

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