W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > site-comments@w3.org > December 2000

Re: suggestion: working demos

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 17:01:34 -0500
Message-ID: <3A49153E.1CFCA5A2@w3.org>
To: "DelVecchio, Matthew" <mdelvecchio@marketwatch.com>
CC: "'site-comments@w3.org'" <site-comments@w3.org>
Matt,

Thank you for sending in your comments. For global navigation,
are you familiar with our site index? [1].

I agree, in general, with your observation that W3C should
be providing more educational materials, in addition to the
technical specifications. Up to now, we have not dedicated
too many resources to the creation of supplementary materials
for our technical specs. It's a big job, and in many cases,
WGs are strapped enough for resources that they don't include
educational materials as part of their deliverables. (There
are some exceptions, including the WAI Education and Outreach
Working Group). 

Based on discussions around W3C, it looks like we should be
able to expect in the near future:
 1) More technical writers on staff, to improve the quality
    of the written work.
 2) More emphasis on educational materials.

Please note that up to now, W3C has relied on other organizations
to product friendlier materials. For instance, I am co-editor
of the HTML 4 specification, which does include some examples,
and a mini tutorial, but is not expected to be a book on how
to organize a Web site. That's simply out of scope for our work,
which in this case is limited to the definition of HTML 4 (and
not, for example, how to configure Apache to serve HTML). 
 
There are probably hundreds or even thousands of books 
on HTML, so we have not been worried about providing 
that service to the community. Instead, we have relied on
the community to provide it for us. The same goes for
translations: we simply don't have the resources to
sponsor the translation in N languages of M specifications.
Instead, we help translators where we can, and we link to
their contributions. 

I sympathize with the frustration of going to a Web site
and not finding what you are looking for. If you have suggestions
for how we can improve navigation, etc., please send them here.

Now, just for fun, I decided to see how quickly (and whether) I
could have found the answer to your question. 

Starting from the home page (http://www.w3.org/):

- One click to DOM home page:
      http://www.w3.org/DOM/
- Since the question is about style sheets, I searched
  for "style" on that page and found the DOM Level 2 Style Rec
      http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/REC-DOM-Level-2-Style-20001113/
- Since the question is probably about CSS, I went to Chapter
  2 on CSS:
      http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/REC-DOM-Level-2-Style-20001113/css.html

And that's where it gets hard. If you look for something specific
to foreground color, you don't find anything. And you have to read
the spec to figure out what you can do. 

I'm sorry you didn't find what you are looking for. I hope we
will dedicate resources to more tutorials and similar materials
in the near future.

Thanks,

 _ Ian


[1] http://www.w3.org/Help/siteindex

"DelVecchio, Matthew" wrote:
> 
> W3C,
> 
> Today I wanted to learn one thing. I wanted to use the L2 DOM to change a
> div's font color from Red to Blue. I could not learn how to do this on your
> site.
> 
> Your documentation is very defficult to use and navigate. No search on each
> page, complete lack of global navigation, etc...
> 
> But even the docs themselves. They're far too conceptually-technical--no
> working examples. I consider myself to be pretty good w/ css, js, dhtml, and
> i find your docs meaningless. They may be great to software architects and
> programmers, but not to ordinary web people.
> 
> The docs I manged to retrieve via the search box couldn't even tell me how
> to access the DOM in order to change a font color on a css div element. Red
> to blue. That's sad. On MSND, I search for "font css javascript" and BOOM,
> there it is.
> 
> MSDN has *examples* that work. Code examples, actual .html pages that do
> things. They show me things that may have been stated in techno-babble, but
> never made sense until i *saw it*. Worth a thousand words. Plus, it proves
> that the docs/syntax works.
> 
> MSDN online. *Everything* I need as a developer, right there.
> 
> Consider it. If you aren't going to make the site easier to use, just put in
> some working examples. After failing at your site, I spoke w/ the Gecko team
> at NS. Eric and JTS and Vlad are writing their own docs, and were receptive
> to the usability feedback.
> 
> Without the support of developers (users) you have nothing.
> 
> sincerely,
> matt
> 
> --
> Matt Del Vecchio
> Web Developer
> CBS.Marketwatch.com
> (612) 752-1118
> (612) 865-7293 cell
> http://cbs.marketwatch.com
> http://www.ftmarketwatch.com
> http://www.bigcharts.com

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 26 December 2000 17:01:47 GMT

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