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Latest thoughts

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 19:55:46 +0100
To: "GEO" <public-i18n-geo@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20050826185547.E390D4EF90@homer.w3.org>


I just want to summarise some thoughts I've been having.  

I started out this afternoon mulling over once more the stuff about indexing via tags and getting started pathways, and as I looked at the material we have on the site and the indices we have, I compared it with my CSS/XSL etc 'cookbooks' and with the current and past WAI stuff. Here are some of the results of that thought process.

I began to pull back some, and view things from a higher perspective.  I think I need to 'return to basics' in some sense.  When the GEO group started we were very keen on the idea of a task-driven organization of our material.  We wanted to help the person who said "I'm doing this right now, tell me how to do it in an internationalized way", or "Just tell me how to do this thing I need to do for internationalization."  I think our focus on meeting that need has weakened a little, and that we should refocus.  I also think that we are now, with all the material we have developed, in a great position to do so.

This means working on the techniques documents again, and perhaps working on the technique index some more.

But the techniques documents are big, unwieldy things to work on.  It occurred to me that we should, as we've said before, develop components in the smaller, more manageable, easily reviewed FAQs and articles and then bolt these together to create the techniques doc.  For example, the new FAQ on "How to change your XHTML page encoding to utf-8" fits that bit nicely.  It should now become a new chapter in the techniques doc. Other articles provide background reading, definitions, and detailed discussions to include in or refer to from the techniques.

What's missing, I think is a road map for ensuring that we have the components needed to build a techniques document.  I'm not saying that we should only develop articles that will lead to techniques, but I think we should look at some of the techniques material and ask ourselves which bits of information are missing, and make plans to develop them in article form.

I've also been experimenting with the topic index, and I'd like to change it.  It currently groups things into large logical clumps, with little extra bits.  I think it's because many groupings tend to align with task-based categories, and then I tried to fit the other stuff around it.  In my experiment I made it look much more like an ordinary index, based on much more granular key terms / concepts alphabetically ordered, and removed the verbose questions.  I think this helps find things faster, and is an big improvement given the amount of material we now have.  I think that task-based organisation should be the unique feature of the techniques index.  I'd like to complete the changes I made to the topic index and upload the new version.

I'm also wondering whether we shouldn't change the techniques index to point to articles, tutorials, etc, as well as the techniques docs, while we have material in that form that isn't in the techniques docs, eg. using ruby, or applying language-based styling using CSS.

So, I'm planning to make some of these changes in the near future, unless someone has alternative suggestions.  Over to you.


Richard Ishida

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Received on Friday, 26 August 2005 18:55:52 UTC

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