W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-dist-auth@w3.org > October to December 2004

Re: Specification philosophies

From: Geoffrey M Clemm <geoffrey.clemm@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 08:59:14 -0500
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>, "'WebDAV (WebDAV WG)'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>, w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF89E61F6F.F2E5CE76-ON85256F5E.004BA984-05256F5E.004CD4A3@us.ibm.com>
I share Julian's astonishment.

Gratuitous repetition is a significant source of potential
error for a careful reader, since after reading the same content for the
third time, a careful reader will often be driven in frustration to skim
over the repeated material, and risk missing some normative statement that
happened to only appear somewhere in that third repetition.

Given a choice of optimizing for the careful reader or optimizing for
the skimmer, I find it hard to believe we would chose to optimize for
the skimmer.

The question of whether to include different forms of specification
(i.e. text, pictures, examples) is very different.  Here I agree that
complementing text (which is essential and normative) with a few 
carefully selected pictures and examples is very desireable.  I am
sure everyone agrees with that.

Cheers,
Geoff

Julian wrote on 12/02/2004 03:47:27 AM:
> 
> Lisa Dusseault wrote:
> 
> > ...
> > short-term memory I have forgotten the details of what was already 
> > said.  I also tend to read quickly and sometimes skip over details. 
> > Other readers fall along this range but I'm guessing Julian would be 
at 
> > nearly one extreme of fine memory/detail and me (I've always supposed) 

> > somewhere in the middle.
> > ...
> 
> Are you seriously proposing optimizing specs for readers who read 
> quickly and skip over details? What makes you think that if stuff gets 
> repeated this type of reader will get it?
Received on Thursday, 2 December 2004 13:59:45 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 5 February 2014 07:17:51 UTC