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Re: Working on New Styles for W3C Specifications

From: Vincent Hardy <vhardy@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 13:18:32 -0800
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
CC: "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CAF9325D.236F0%vhardy@adobe.com>
Hi Bjoern,

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net<mailto:derhoermi@gmx.net>>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 11:57:26 -0800
To: Adobe Systems <vhardy@adobe.com<mailto:vhardy@adobe.com>>
Cc: "spec-prod@w3.org<mailto:spec-prod@w3.org>" <spec-prod@w3.org<mailto:spec-prod@w3.org>>
Subject: Re: Working on New Styles for W3C Specifications

* Vincent Hardy wrote:
Our goal is to produce a more legible specification and the choice of
font, font size, line height and body width all participate into this.

The work is in progress and specific comments on how to improve what we
do are welcome. I do not know how to use the feedback you have sent.

I was asking how you intend to proceed with this, and more subtly, how
you arrived at the design you sent us a preview to. Relevant details
would be, for instance, where we could review the legibility problems
you have identified so far, which public mailing list you are using to
discuss them, whether there is some kind of schedule for when you plan
to ask for feedback, and so on.

As it is, people who actually want to improve the readability of W3C's
technical reports would seem to have a hard time to contribute to your
effort, I for instance missed where you asked the community to report
readability problems people currently encounter. I would hope others
reported the issues I myself encounter, but I can't check because I do
not know where this information is being maintained and disucssed. So,
the problem is more that I do not know how to use the feed you sent.

ok, I understand now. Here are pointers/answers:

- where does the initial design come from?

This comes from discussions mainly with Ben Schwartz and Jerrold Maddox who are both designers about how to make an online document more legible. It seems that  people are using the 'readability' options in browsers quite a bit (these seem to tinkers with the body width, font size/line height) and I found it hard to work with the specs. that were very wide and with a color palette that was distracting.

I asked about the usual typographic guidelines  and got guidance on the body width, font, font sizes and line heights. The initial design is largely inspired by the work Ben has done which I pointed to in my email.

The rest of the proposed changes (like a simpler color palette) come from discussions with Ben about how to make the documents I was editing less noisy and easier to parse visually.

The work I pointed to was meant to illustrate what we are intending to work on. It is a starting point, not a final proposal.

- where do we gather feedback and where is the discussion happening?

The intent of the email I sent was to kick-start the feedback and the discussion. The spec-prod mailing list seems like a good place to get started. The first WD that will be published with an alternate style will ask people to send their feedback to site-comments@w3.org. And my email said that comments can be sent to me directly.

With the early feedback sent today, I also started a Wiki page to gather the requirements:

http://wiki.csswg.org/ideas/spec-styling

Let me know if that clarifies things,
Cheers,
Vincent
Received on Monday, 28 November 2011 21:19:09 GMT

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