W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > February 2000

precis - write the first paragraph last

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2000 14:53:17 -0600
Message-Id: <200002051947.OAA817489@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
There is a tradeoff between making an email message clear on its own and
making it work with desktop tools in the process of editing a document.

Jonathan wrote:
>Subject: please put a precis in the header and/or at the top of the email
>I do like the way this discussion is going.

>However I still complain about excessive use of "1.13" etc in my email/on
>the wai site. I simply am not aware of what you speak.

For example, one subject line reads:

  "Technique 1.1.7 [priority 1] Verify that text equivalents are provided for
                        audio files where necessary"

Where the topic could be summarized as

  "Text equivalents for audio"

What Wendy used as her subject line is a literal cut of a technique title
from the current draft of the ERT document.  Using the exact text of the
document makes it easy to find where one is in the cited document by using
text searching, known as "Find" in the Windows environment.  The context
for the message has been invoked by title.  This works well if one is
reading this mail with a copy of the draft document open for comparison,
and less well otherwise.

One technique that can help is to write a topic paragraph for your post
after you have written the detailed version, and to write or re-write the
subject header as a concise title after that.  The writing order should be
the reverse of the reading order.

In or adjacent to the topic paragraph is a good place to have something
like the full text of the title for the corresponding section in the
document being commented on.  This is the plain text version of a link.
Come to think of it, it should be a fully qualified reference including
both the URL for the document and the text string to find.

On the W3C site, references to other documents or sections by number should
be accompanies with references by hyperlink, so one can visit the cited
discussion and return, if desired.  

Received on Saturday, 5 February 2000 14:45:49 UTC

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