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Re: Mailing Lists (was Re: Evolving AppCache discussions)

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 10:27:30 -0700
Message-ID: <CA+c2ei92urFZoCvJiSCg04uNmy5M0SNkp11BJ1qN4-Bbk__CEg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, "HTML WG (public-html@w3.org)" <public-html@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "Sam Ruby (rubys@intertwingly.net)" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Hi Maciej,

I really don't want to force everyone that wants to participate in the
appcache debate to have to subscribe to the normal HTML mailing list.

The topics right now covered on the HTML mailing list is generally
very far from the interests of the people I have interacted with on
the appcache topic. That's not to say they are not important, it's
just that everyone can't be interested in everything. Especially to
the level required when subscribing to standards mailing lists which
dives very deep into the covered topics.

I myself have given up on following the HTML mailing list. I simply
don't have time to even flip through the threads I'm not interested
in.

I'm quite certain that if we were to use the main HTML mailing list as
forum for the appcache work we would both lose participants. I'd also
imagine that the people, like me, who still would attempt to
participate would end up missing some important threads due to getting
lost in the other threads. I.e. the low signal/"noise" ratio would
result in lost signal. (Again, where "noise" here doesn't mean useless
discussions, but rather discussions that I don't choose to follow).

That said, I understand that you are concerned about fragmenting the
working group. One alternative is that we use the "fix appcache"
community group that already exists. And which I believe was set up
with help from W3C staff with the explicit goal of fixing the
appcache.

/ Jonas

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Adrian,
>
> I like the idea of taking up new work on AppCache. Let me comment for a moment on just the mailing list aspect of your proposal (and thus changing the subject line):
>
> On Sep 7, 2012, at 9:45 AM, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com> wrote:
>
>> Since there are some people who wish to participate in this work but only engage in this
>> one activity, the consensus of our small group in Mountain View was to propose a new mailing list
>> (public-html-appcache) to host the discussion (in a similar way to the public-html-media list).
>
>
> I am worried that the increasing proliferation of mailing lists is not good for the HTML WG.
>
> We currently have (excluding administrative and obsolete lists):
> * public-canvas-api
> * public-html
> * public-html-a11y
> * public-html-media
> * public-html-testsuite
>
> And I expect more proposals to keep coming.
>
> I understand the benefit to participants who are highly focused on one specific technology area - they can have a focused conversation and ignore everything else. However, I think there are some downsides:
>
> * Multiple lists tend to fragment the conversation. People may discuss the same topic in multiple places and miss each other's comments.
> * Anyone who wants to follow all of the WG's technical work has to subscribe to many lists, and must keep subscribing to more as new ones are created.
> * As meaty technical discussion spreads into the focused lists, the general list has less useful technical discussion, and becomes more a venue solely for administriva and noise.
>
> Other Working Groups with many deliverables have faced a similar problem. A pattern that I feel works well is using a single mailing list, and using subject line tags in brackets. For example, the CSS WG does this with their public www-style list, and the Web Apps WG does this with their public-webapps list. This way, it is easy for people interested in only one or a few subjects to filter. But it is also easy to follow everything. And we reduce the risk of fragmenting the conversation, or of the main list appearing dead.
>
> Therefore, I propose we move to the following approach to mailing lists:
>
>
> * public-html for discussion of the following specs, with the following subject tags:
>     HTML5: [HTML5]
>     Media Stream Extensions: [MSE]
>     Encrypted Media Extensions: [EME]
>     Canvas 2D Context: [Canvas]
>     HTML Microdata: [Microdata]
>     Discussion of the Polyglot Markup spec: [Polyglot]
>     Discussion of HTML5: techniques for providing useful text alternatives: [Alt-Techniques]
>     HTML to Platform Accessibility APIs Implementation Guide: [HTML-AAPI]
>     HTML5 Differences from HTML4: [HTML5-Diff]
>     HTML5: Edition for Web Authors: [HTML5-Author]
>     HTML: The Markup Language: [Markup]
>     AppCache extensions proposals: [AppCache]
>     HTML.Next proposals that do not yet have their own tag or spec: subject tag of [HTML.Next]
>
> * Discussion of the test suite: public-html with a subject tag of [Testsuite]
> * Working-group-wide announcements: [HTMLWG]
> * Discussion of Accessibility Task Force matters: public-html-a11y (since this is actually a proper joint Task Force, and for historical reason its participants wanted a safe space for discussion)
>
> public-canvas-api, public-html-media, and public-html
>
> I think this approach gets you the best of both worlds - most of the advantages of split mailing lists and of a unified mailing list at the same time.
>
> I'm interested in hearing what WG members think of this approach. Also I think lowercase subject tags would be fine too, if that is what WG members prefer.
>
> Regards,
> Maciej
>
>
Received on Friday, 14 September 2012 17:28:27 GMT

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