W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > February 2012

Re: "Living Standards"

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 16:06:41 +0100
Cc: public-w3process@w3.org
Message-Id: <6C38E798-4A43-40C7-8C85-8A971CF98E49@berjon.com>
To: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
On Feb 3, 2012, at 15:56 , Marcos Caceres wrote:
> On Friday, February 3, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Robin Berjon wrote:
>> Frankly, until today I never knew what was written on it. It's just another of those annoying things that show up on web sites. I would be very surprised if it weren't the same for many others.
> Ok, what's your alternative then (short of building the warning it into the browser itself ala Geolocation pop-underbar … which would make for a cool spec :) ).  

We actually could do that... it might work better.

If you want to signal that a specification is obsolete, you need two things:

1) It has to be the truth. The HTML warning is there all the time, but it's not always obsolete. Why would you pay attention to a liar?

2) Usability. There's a reason good advertising isn't all about a flashing red background with yellow text. It's actually too easy to ignore. That's the same reason why cigarette sellers in the US insisted that the warning should be in all caps: they had studies showing people ignored all caps text a lot more.

Instead of an ugly ignorable warning, you prepend "Obsolete" to the spec's title, you make the background light grey, you change the top left W3C strip to grey, you bold the "Latest Version" link. The most practical would be to detect that in JS.

> so, one of the main issues remains that there is a false sense that things on /TR/ are stable. That's a central problem and that needs to be addressed more clearly. I know that Pub Rules forces every non-recommendation spec to say: "This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress."  

The problem with that is that it's drowned in boilerplate. Getting that right depends on the redesign (which seems to have stalled).

> But it's obviously not working… and man!… if people, like you, are not even reading the big red warning… I don't know what is left except for me to go over to their house, knock on their door, and tell them in person, "Um, would you please stop doing that.".  

But then again I don't need to read the warning — I won't copy the spec over somewhere else anyway.

Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Friday, 3 February 2012 15:07:19 UTC

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