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Re: Handling Massive Proposed Changes

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 17:19:57 -0400 (EDT)
To: eric hansen <ehansen@ets.org>
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9905191711230.24596-100000@tux.w3.org>
It would be much better to identify issues individually, and send them to the
list, for the following reasons:

1. Better history - the list is archived and can be viewed by thread, which
would make it possible to track single issues. The same applies to issues
lists, etc which need to be generated.

2. It is much easier to provide a useful agenda for a meeting if there are
distinct proposals or issues, rather than reverse-engineering them from a
whole second version of the document (it is actually harder to read a heavily
annotated document than to do sequential edits).

3. It is enables a faster triage of editorial versus substantive issues.

If you have a set of changes which you feel are editorial, and make no
difference to the document please feel free to send them in the same message.
The current editorial approach is to err on the side of conservatism in most


On Wed, 19 May 1999, eric hansen wrote:

  A Suggested Procedure For Handling Massive Proposed Changes
  I would like to suggest a procedure that will help streamline disposition 
  of massive amounts of proposed changes, such as those documented in my 
  revisions of the 30 April 1999 draft. This procedure is intended to make 
  things easier on everyone and still accomplish the necessary work. The 
  procedure may also be helpful for dealing with editorial changes in 
  1. The submitter of massive changes assigns an identifier (e.g., a number) 
  to the most critical changes.
  2. The submitter posts to the list a brief description of the most critical 
  changes along with the revised material or a link to the revised material. 
  Working group members and any other interested parties should review the 
  material and comment on any of it.
  3. The chair assigns one or more editors to classify the changes as either 
  "editorial" or "non-editorial". Editors can determine the disposition of 
  editorial changes (accept, reject, adapt, delay-decision) in consultation 
  with the chair. Non-editorial changes presumably require open discussion on 
  the AU list.
  4.  By the end of an established deadline, the editor notifies the 
  submitter of the classification of the changes (i.e., editorial or 
  non-editorial). I suggest that the chair establish a deadline for this 
  notification as one week from the day that the changes were posted. The 
  notification should also indicate which of two drafts of the WATG document 
  will reflect the disposition of the editorial changes; these drafts are: 
  (1) the first draft following the posting of the changes and (2) the second 
  draft following the posting of the changes. The editors are encouraged to 
  advise the submitter (a) which changes that may warrant detailed discussion 
  on the list, (b) the order in which post non-editorial changes.
  5. At a date no later than release of the second new draft from the time of 
  the posting of the changes, the status of each editorial change assumes one 
  of the following statuses: (a) accepted (these are reflected in the new 
  draft), (b) rejected (the new draft reflects the reject status by a lack of 
  change), (c) adapted (the new draft reflects this partial implementation),  
  (d) decision-delayed (because this may be mistaken for "rejected", the 
  editors must notify the submitter of this decision [see the next step]), 
  (e) convert to non-editorial change (the editors must refer this issue to 
  the Working Group for discussion). For any editorial decision for which the 
  decision is "decision-delayed", the editors must notify the submitter of 
  the decision, including information about the date by which the editorial 
  decision will be reflected in a draft that is available to the submitter. 
  For any editorial change that the editors convert to a non-editorial change,
   the editors have the responsibility to post the issue to the list. Note 
  that all these actions have the same deadline -- the date of the release of 
  the second new draft from the time of the posting of the changes. 
  6. The submitter, editor, or any other reviewer should at any time post on 
  the list the descriptions of issues (including any non-editorial issues) 
  posed by the proposed changes. Commenters should indicate their position 
  and their rationale. Ideally, these postings will include "before" and 
  "after (e.g., "original" versus "proposed") quotes for changes in wording. 
  (Ideally, the submitter would post such as list at the same time as the 
  document or link to the document is posted. But this can be a very 
  time-consuming process. The editors must initiate and conduct their 
  classification of the issues even in the absence of such descriptions. See 
  #3 and #4.)
  7. At a certain point (Is it "Last Call"?) the editors and chairs will have 
  the responsibility of tracking resolution of all non-editorial changes. (I 
  think that is correct. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.) The 
  editors may find it beneficial to do some tracking even prior to that time.
  Note that a key feature of this procedure is that it engages the editors 
  and the submitter in a dialogue regarding the disposition of the suggested 
  changes, particularly the editorial changes. Also, because the submitter is 
  informed whether the changes are editorial or not, she/he can decide the 
  nature and time of additional postings on the same issues. Without this 
  communication, the submitter may not know whether the suggestions have been 
  "heard", whether the editors consider them editorial or not, or whether 
  they will ever be acted upon. 
  I request that that this procedure or some variation upon it be agreed upon 
  and followed, beginning with the posting of my 19 May 1999 revision of the 
  30 April 1999 draft of the WATG document.
  Eric G. Hansen, Ph.D.
  Development Scientist
  Educational Testing Service
  ETS 12-R
  Rosedale Road
  Princeton, NJ 08541
  (W) 609-734-5615
  (Fax) 609-734-1090
  E-mail: ehansen@ets.org 

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 19 May 1999 17:20:03 UTC

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