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

From: Christopher B Ferris <chrisfer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:40:35 -0400
To: Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Cc: "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, chairs-request@w3.org, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Michael Rys <mrys@microsoft.com>, Robin Berjon <robin@robineko.com>, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>, W3C Members <w3c-ac-members@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF908CC5B7.DC0B4FE7-ON85257650.00610FE2-85257650.0061189E@us.ibm.com>

speaking for myself only.


Christopher Ferris
IBM Distinguished Engineer, CTO Industry Standards
IBM Software Group, Standards Strategy
email: chrisfer@us.ibm.com
blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/chrisferris
phone: +1 508 234 2986

Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Robin Berjon <robin@robineko.com>, Christopher B Ferris/Waltham/IBM@IBMUS, 
"spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
"chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, W3C Members 
<w3c-ac-members@w3.org>, Michael Rys <mrys@microsoft.com>
10/15/2009 12:17 PM
RE: Review of the Reformatted Recommendations (was Re: New W3C Web  Site 
Sent by:

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:


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 
  - 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.


Robin Berjon
  robineko - hired gun, higher standards
Received on Thursday, 15 October 2009 17:41:27 UTC

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