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RE: Review of the Reformatted Recommendations (was Re: New W3C Web Site Launched)

From: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:10:22 +0000
To: Robin Berjon <robin@robineko.com>, Christopher B Ferris <chrisfer@us.ibm.com>, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
CC: "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, W3C Members <w3c-ac-members@w3.org>, Michael Rys <mrys@microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <11A2C786A2D08A4D9E64E213468F4C6202351562@TK5EX14MBXC110.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
I agree with Robin and Jim that there wasn't enough consultation with WGs before their publications were reformatted.  I'd suggest immediately rolling back the changes to the *specs'* formatting (not the overall website -- there are issues, but I will follow Ian's advice to be patient).   Then, follow a process such as Robin suggests to work through the issues and let WGs opt-in -- or at least opt out-- of the new CSS. If you need guinea pigs, use submissions, Recommendations without active WGs, etc., but leave active WGs in control of both the form and content of their specs.

I personally like the new look of the documents and believe that most WGs will eventually opt-in, but the team really needs to respect the consensus process and the principle that the WGs own the specs they produce.

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-ac-forum-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-ac-forum-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Robin Berjon
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2009 7:33 AM
To: Christopher B Ferris; spec-prod@w3.org
Cc: chairs@w3.org; Ian Jacobs; W3C Members
Subject: Review of the Reformatted Recommendations (was Re: New W3C Web Site Launched)

Hi all,

in the absence of a list specifically tailored for editors, I'd like to suggest that we can move this discussion to spec-prod@w3.org which seems to be the closest logical location.

All but a few of the W3C Recommendations listed at:

  http://www.w3.org/TR/tr-status-stds.html

have been reformatted to match the look of the new site. In many cases this has broken them with various degrees of severity (in some cases rendering them largely unusable). Surely, users can go to the previously published version if they happen to need a functional document, but it's not something that they're likely to guess (unless they read the small note at the bottom of all those documents).

I don't think that I'm being particularly grouchy or demanding if I state that running live breaking experiments on documents that are expected to be stable and authoritative at their canonical URLs is a rather bad situation, that we should work together to address as quickly as possible.

I have already heard several people who had reviewed beta.w3.org being surprised at the changes made to the Recommendations. It seems rather clear to me that this part of the new site has not received anywhere near the amount of validation that it ought to have.

So in the spirit of reaching consensus that we are all familiar with, and in order to help the Team out as it pushes through this huge redesign effort that is in pretty much every other one of its aspects absolutely fantastic, to get all the editors past and present who are willing to help to discuss ways of addressing the current breakage swiftly. I would think that anyone would naturally be welcome to help, but I single out editors as they are after all those whose blood and tears and paper cuts from a thousand man-hours of last comments build these documents and donate them to W3C. They know the kinks and the warts, and they've generally had no other option but to listen to their users at great length.

Amongst the topics that I would like to see resolved as part of this discussion are:

  - Should this experimentation be performed on live Recommendations at their canonical URLs?
  - Should old documents be updated at all? If yes, should the WGs in charge handle them?
  - Do TRs need to have the site navigation included or are they standalone?
  - Is it okay to have the logos of commercial companies on TRs?
  - Should the SotD and paraphernalia be pushed to the end?

And of course any other concern that editors may bring up. Personally, I agree that the idea behind most of the changes has merit, but I believe that this is being rushed out unbaked, and that the quality of our production is taking a hit because of it.

WDYT?

--
Robin Berjon
  robineko - hired gun, higher standards
  http://robineko.com/
Received on Thursday, 15 October 2009 16:16:32 GMT

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