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

Obsolete - the new awesome pub status all the kids are raving about! was, Re: "Living Standards"

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 15:26:22 +0000
To: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Cc: public-w3process@w3.org
Message-ID: <F5E6A67E062D4902BDC04884B1DADE70@marcosc.com>
On Friday, February 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM, Robin Berjon wrote:
> 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 If you want to signal that a specification is obsolete, you need two things: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?

I would not say it lies, "This is a work in progress! For the latest updates from the HTML WG, possibly including important bug fixes, please look at the editor's draft instead. There may also be a more up-to-date Working Draft with changes based on resolution of Last Call issues."

It's quite careful in its use of language ("possibly" and "may").  
  
> 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.


I've never seen such studies or heard of such things, but I'm inclined to believe extremely proficient and effective mass murderers. It also sounds like something out of a Neal Stephenson novel, so I'm even more inclined to believe it.   
  
> 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.


I like it. Though it's a lot of work. But I think we could sell this one to the W3C as its an opt-in thing and doesn't affect other specs.    
  
> > 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).
I think the above would solve the problem… greying out the spec would pretty much serve the same purpose.   

Ok,  

--  
Marcos Caceres
Received on Friday, 3 February 2012 15:26:58 UTC

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