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Re: Versioning ARIA editor's drafts

From: Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:23:42 -0400
Message-ID: <4F91C5CE.8090505@w3.org>
To: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
CC: PFWG Public Comments <public-pfwg-comments@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
> It's very hard to provide discussable feedback on editor's drafts
> without permalinks to the relevant section in the version you are
> commenting on.
>
> Please consider either archiving the ARIA editor's drafts or
> publicising where they are archived in source control.
>   
Hi Benjamin -

I meant to reply to this sooner. Your recent comments that you filed
reminded me.

I'd like to get a better idea of what would meet your needs, and suggest
both short-term and long-term things we might do.

At the moment, the ARIA specifications are stored in CVS and mirrored to
the W3C site. We maintain an editors' *source* at
http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/src/aria.html, and from that we generate the
actual editors' drafts to http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria/. The generator
does a bunch of cross referencing that make it highly desirable to have
the source version separate from the "official" editors' draft we reference.

This CVS repository doesn't provide public access to the CVS history,
even though that history exists. So we aren't able to use source control
mechanisms to provide direct access to the version information.
Certainly this is a problem.

One thing we *can* do is put the CVS version identifier in the document,
near the top. Although it isn't possible to view a specific historical
version online, the version identifier at least allows a commenter to be
specific about which version they were reviewing. I can also send a copy
of the relevant version on demand. As a short term solution, would this
help?

One other thing we sometimes do is create a dated editors' draft, to a
URL like http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria/YYYYMMDD/. Normally we do this
only for "milestone" drafts where we want review of a stable version,
but aren't publishing a TR version. I'm reluctant to generate dated
editors' drafts every time we check in a change to the source, because
the number of copies would proliferate and become hard to manage. But
I'll ask, is this something you are looking for? If so, how important
would that be to you?

Longer term, I've been considering putting the ARIA documents into the
W3C Mercurial repository. That repository *does* provide public access
to historical versions of the document, though I find it can be a pain
to obtain the proper URL. My thought had been just to post the source
versions there, not the generated editors' drafts; the source versions
would be less useful to reviewers. But we could potentially put
generated editors' drafts into that repository if it will be helpful to
reviewers. If we do this, will it meet what your looking for?

Are there any other ways you can think of that would help meet this use
case? I'd appreciate suggestions that we can implement short term
without major changes to our infrastructure, and longer term that we
might be able to accommodate when we go through an infrastructure shift.

Michael
-- 

Michael Cooper
Web Accessibility Specialist
World Wide Web Consortium, Web Accessibility Initiative
E-mail cooper@w3.org <mailto:cooper@w3.org>
Information Page <http://www.w3.org/People/cooper/>
Received on Friday, 20 April 2012 20:23:57 GMT

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