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Re: Thoughts about future pubrules

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 20:55:49 -0400
To: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Cc: spec-prod <spec-prod@w3.org>, Ted Guild <ted@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1335833749.9663.1057.camel@waldron>
On Mon, 2012-04-30 at 14:09 -0400, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I spent some time with the webmaster recently to talk about on to
> improve the state of pubrules in the future. Trying to figure where the
> bottlenecks are and how to remove them.
> For example, one of the current bottleneck to publish in /TR nowadays is
> the webmaster himself. We only get to publish on Tuesdays and Thursdays
> because of that.
> Regarding the rules themselves, a lot of them wouldn't have to be
> checked if we had a tool to generate the document for us (icon,
> copyright, previous version link, patent policy, etc.). So, we had a way
> for the editor to feed the data into the system, that would simplify
> life.
> So, we came up with the idea of using respec.js (or some form of it). If
> folks give us a respec document, we can grab the data (currenlty in the
> JSON object) and generate the right stuff on the server. We wouldn't
> remove the current pubrules sytem but rather makes life easier for those
> using the new system. You wouldn't have to wait for the webmaster for
> example to publish a document. We do expect that some groups will
> continue to use xmlspec for example.
> Respec.js has some limitations, some of them could be resolved, some
> not. But it's relatively easy to edit.
> We're looking here at a 6 months project since it will involved writing
> new tools and rewriting the tools currently used by the webmaster to
> publish the documents.
> Comments?
> Philippe

ReSpec is a red herring here.  It's not part of the problem or part of
the solution to the webmaster bottleneck.  It does help reduce the pain
of complying with pubrules, but it does that already, without any
changes to the current system.

What we need is a web form (aka web service) like this:

   Publication date: (today, or any date in the future)
   Publication time: (maybe you want it to appear at 2pm or something)
   URLs to fetch:
       (each of these is fetched and put into the new dir;
       the part after the last slash remains the same; one of
       them must be Overview.html)

       (it would be nice let people just name a CVS or HG directory, too.)

   Spec Groups:   (like they ask us now)
   Suggested Home Page Announcement:   (for the comm team to use or rewrite)
   Maturity:   (unless pubrules-checker can be fixed to guess it right)


After you press SUBMIT, and the information is queued, you'll be
redirected to
where you can see how it's progressing.  You'll be told how it's doing
on all the checks.   If it passes them all, it'll wait in the queue
until the given time is reached and then immediately appear on /TR.
Hopefully comm can keep up with the home page announcements, but that's
a separate issue.  

How's that sound?   

If it gets stuck, you ask webreq.    Webreq becomes tech support for
publication, with nothing to do on days where things are going well.

One cool feature might be that xmlspec and respec input files could be
submitted and the system would do the right thing, as if it were a Web
Browser.  That would be nice.   Not sure whether to use something like
selenium, or xsltproc and node+jsdom.

For permissions, there are several options.  Maybe only W3C staff can
press SUBMIT.   That would be easiest (and you could do without the
"user" parameter), but read on.   What I'd really like would be that
ANYONE can press submit -- but it remains in the queue until
appropriately endorsed.

If it's a FPWD, CR, PR, or REC it would need approval from a chair,
staff contact, and a w3m'er.   (The people are not so much approving the
document, as certifying that correct process has been carried out.  The
chair is saying the WG has resolved to publish, not saying they
personally approve of the document.)

If it's an OWD or LC or NOTE (after prior FPWD), it would only need
approval from a chair and staff contact.

I suggest that ED be allowed, too.  That would need no approval.   I
suggest ED's appear at a URL based on the submitters userid and the
shortname they suggested, like: 
with a "latest version" at

Cool, eh?  No more Editor's Drafts in a hundred random locations, with
no change tracking or anything.   Maybe the system can offer convenient

Ideally, everything would start as an ED.  The WG would approve
publication of a given ED and the system would do the necessary
transformations to turn it into a TR, with no need for human hands (or
human error).  That would be cool, but would require more getting into
the guts.  (In particular, the system would need to be able to change
the publication date on several documents that all link to each other.
Also, there would need to be an allowance for small changes being made
even after some approval stages, vetted by someone.)

That'd be nice, huh?

     -- Sandro (who handed the webmaster three more TRs today, one
                respec, one xmlspec, and one hand-written html)
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2012 00:55:58 UTC

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