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RE: Excessive techno-babble

From: Trace Bond <tbond@ctv.ca>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 00:14:08 -0500
Message-ID: <F8EBAC189452844C808799CDF8B1F7F7048B1649@vacoms04>
To: 'Charles McCathieNevile' <chaals@opera.com>, "'bjoern@hoehrmann.de'" <bjoern@hoehrmann.de>
Cc: "'public-webapi@w3.org'" <public-webapi@w3.org>

Hello Charles and Björn,
Thanks for your reply. We are all so busy in these crazy, confused,
miraculous times that every thoughtful email is special.

Here are a few suggestions for a presentation with somewhat reduced
cyber-jargon/techno-babble:
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1) Start with an overview or definition of "Web Application"/"Rich Web
Client": for example, something like (but better than) the following two
paragrafs which I copied from http://www.w3.org/2006/rwc/Activity:

"With the ubiquity of Web browsers and Web document formats across a range
of platforms and devices, many developers are using the Web as an
application environment. Examples of applications built on rich Web clients
include reservation systems, online shopping or auction sites, games,
multimedia applications, calendars, maps, bla bla bla. 

Web client applications typically have some form of programmatic control.
They may run within the browser or within another host application. A Web
client application is typically downloaded on demand each time it is
"executed," bla bla bla and may have interactive rich graphical interfaces."

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2) Have a glossary where phrases such as "interactive rich graphical
interfaces" can be defined if they can't be avoided.

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3) An example of a future "Web Application"/"Rich Web Client" might be
illuminating. Allow me to suggest one and you can then tell me whether my
understanding of these concepts has any foundation: my suggestion is a
"WebDraw" program and here is how it could be used:

A grafic artist waiting in an airport lounge decides to work on his
drawings. He/she finds an Internet-connected computer located in the lounge,
starts its browser and downloads the "WebDraw" program from the "WebDraw"
Internet server. Using a file-download interface (enabled by the proposed
"File upload? API to manipulate files on the client"), he selects a PNG
grafic file from his own file server located back in his hometown. The file
is downloaded to the airport computer where the "WebDraw" program copies it
to memory and displays it on-screen. The artist wields the computer's mouse
to-and-fro and "WebDraw" (using the proposed "DOM Level 3 Events") adds
lines & shapes to the drawing. When his airplane is about to board, he
closes the "WebDraw" program which copies the modified memory to a file and
uploads it to his hometown file server for safe-keeping.

This kind of functionality can now be accomplished using Java
applets/applications, but it would be great if this capability was part of
some standard ideal "W3C Web Browser" (and pigs could fly ;-)). Please tell
me if this "WebDraw" example represents the challenge faced by your working
group?
	-Trace Bond

PS: Björn, I probably should, but I don't, understand "DOM Events". What is
the relationship between DOM Events, the browser, the Web Application's
XHTML and the Web Application?


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-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:chaals@opera.com]
Sent: 29 October, 2006 09:17
To: Trace Bond; 'public-webapi@w3.org'
Subject: Re: Excessive techno-babble


On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 12:29:40 +0900, Trace Bond <tbond@ctv.ca> wrote:

> w3.org (specificly, the "Web API Working Group" content which I've just  
> spent an hour puzzling over) suffers from excessive techno-babble.
>
> Can't the objectives and activity of the "Web API Working Group" be  
> described in simple clear language?

To be frank, I don't know. I would describe it as "agreeing on and  
describing interfaces so you can write software for the web". And then I  
would write a couple more pages. And then I would spend a few days trying  
to turn them back into a couple of paragraphs with pointers to more  
information. If I had more time.

As Björn said, knowing which things are difficult would help prioritising  
them. The mail list is hardest and I would be surprised if that is ever  
achieved. The specifications, the group's pages, can be worked on.  
Specific suggestions are always welcome, of course.

Bear in mind that "simple" and "clear" are words which have wildly  
different meanings to different people...

cheers

Chaals

-- 
   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
   hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
chaals@opera.com          Try Opera 9 now! http://opera.com

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* Trace Bond wrote:
>w3.org (specificly, the "Web API Working Group" content which I've just
>spent an hour puzzling over) suffers from excessive techno-babble.
>Can't the objectives and activity of the "Web API Working Group" be
>described in simple clear language?

Could you be more specific which doucments you mean here? The group's
charter, the public home page, the individual draft specifications,
all differ in their readability; if you could cite some examples of
excessive techno-babble, we can certainly look towards improving the
text.
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
68309 Mannheim · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/ 

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// Original "Excessive techno-babble" email: 

w3.org (specificly, the "Web API Working Group" content which I've just
spent an hour puzzling over) suffers from excessive techno-babble.
Can't the objectives and activity of the "Web API Working Group" be
described in simple clear language?
 
I'm an aged technologist (almost 60) with 38 years of computer programming
experience.. I've come to realize how isolated we technologists are from the
lay-public and from each other. However, because our technologies are so
important, they deserve the effort (yes, the great effort) to describe them
clearly. Let us be creative and passionate in that effort!
 
Trace Bond
Vancouver, BC
 
PS0: This inability or unwillingness to communicate also afflicts our
technologist colleagues the scientists, mathematicians, physicians, etc.
PS1: Why do I bother?
Received on Tuesday, 31 October 2006 05:14:43 GMT

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