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Re: New W3C Web Site Launched

From: Robin Berjon <robin@robineko.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 18:52:13 +0200
Cc: site-comments@w3.org, chairs@w3.org
Message-Id: <B577110D-AE43-4BC4-81D3-B2D566C43739@robineko.com>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Hi Ian,

On Oct 14, 2009, at 18:28 , Ian Jacobs wrote:
> We had a beta test period for some time. Going live was intended to  
> get more feedback (which is happening).
> We will fix things as we go. If the new templates prove unfixable,  
> we'll remove them.

I do not question that that approach is right for the general site;  
requirements for standards are different though. Cool standards don't  
change under your feet. I strongly urge the Team to consider things  
that live under /TR/ as being a completely different use case and a  
largely different crowd than the rest of the W3C website.

And if you do insist on running live tests inside TR, why run them on  
the stable, important documents and not on unstable and less important  
ones? Presumably, their formatting requirements are the same, while  
the impact of issues is lesser.

> We've kept the previous documents available at their original URIs.  
> We have new URIs for the reformatted specs. So people who wish to  
> refer to the dated spec can continue to do so. The "latest version"  
> URI takes you to the reformatted versions.

At the very least would you consider switching that around so that the  
latest version would point to the latest version that actually reached  
consensus in the WG in charge of publishing them and was endorsed by  
the Membership? A lot of resources out there point to the latest  
version instead of the dated one (as does Google in most cases).

> Instead, I ask your patience while we fix bugs (which one should  
> expect during a significant upgrade such as this one). If you need  
> the stable previous specs in the meantime, those URIs still work.

I am more than happy to be patient and to help out with the creation  
of new templates. I merely ask that we don't play Russian roulette  
with documents that worked and that are widely referenced. I am  
somewhat surprised (to put it nicely) that the same organisation that  
deliberately inflicts dated URIs upon the world would toy with the  
product of consensus so carelessly.

> On the question of "google on every page" we discussed this issue  
> quite a bit. We certainly don't have the resources to write our own  
> search engine. And offering N search options to users (in a gesture  
> to be more neutral) is not really a service to users. We talked to  
> google about dropping their logo requirement and they let us know  
> that that would not be possible.
>
> Regarding twitter and identi.ca, we are already using 2 rather than  
> one. If we end up setting up our own microblog service at W3C, then  
> we might promote it instead. But all of that would require more  
> resources than we have currently allocated.

Again, the general website and the specifications are different  
things. I'm perfectly happy with those things in the general site. I  
would be happy with ads on the general site  that'd make the W3C some  
useful money.

The specifications, on the other hand, are authority documents. I have  
absolutely nothing against Google, but W3C specifications aren't  
Google specifications. There is enough confusion in the community  
already about who drives what.


> I prefer to keep going and work out the bugs. The advantages of the  
> new templates for TRs include:
>
> * integrated into the rest of site

I think that's a bug. Specifications aren't pages just like other  
pages in the site. We shouldn't be trying to give the impression that  
they sit on the same level, which is what the current layout does.

> * status section has been moved down so people can begin reading  
> more quickly

I'm not convinced that that's a good change either  see other thread  
in chairs@.

> There are some challenges in ensuring we don't break formatting; we  
> will continue to investigate and fix those.
> If this experiment does not bear fruit, we will roll back.

Is there at least a date at which we plan to make a call as to whether  
the experiment was a failure or not? Is there a process of any sort  
telling us who's making the call and who we can appeal to? Is there  
any plan to engage and involve the people who actually write the  
specifications? The people writing specification production tools?

> But given the largely positive feedback we've received, I'd like to  
> keep plugging ahead for a short while.

Positive feedback on the site in general should be taken separately  
from feedback on the specs, I hope.

--
Robin Berjon
   robineko  setting new standards
   http://robineko.com/
Received on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:52:49 GMT

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