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Re: Specification philosophies

From: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 09:46:21 -0800
Message-Id: <13CFB5F8-448A-11D9-9DD0-000A95B2BB72@osafoundation.org>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "'WebDAV (WebDAV WG)'" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>, w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org
To: Geoffrey M Clemm <geoffrey.clemm@us.ibm.com>

If you are truly astonished, it must be because you have not carefully 
been reading my previous emails and remembering the details.  Perhaps 
you have been skimming them?

I have never advocated gratuitous repetition or optimizing for the 
least careful reader. I have been advocating making requirements 
explicit, rather than leaving them to be deduced; and I have been 
advocating more examples, and I have pointed out that complementing 
text helps skimming readers as well as careful readers with different 
backgrounds and assumptions.

Lisa

On Dec 2, 2004, at 5:59 AM, Geoffrey M Clemm wrote:

> 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 17:46:50 UTC

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