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On being humane

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 19:32:39 +0000
Message-Id: <78BBCC2B-1A3E-41FF-A8FC-203C2B7BC7F9@btinternet.com>
To: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, timbl@w3.org, process-issues@w3.org
Cc: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
On being humane

I claim that developers and in particular the large corporations that  
fund w3c have undue influence.
The result is a failure to include users in, and put them at the  
centre of the w3c specification process,

A relatively simple example*:

If someone publishes a document in a variety of languages, the average  
reader is free to choose which one to read.
They may be expected to choose to read most documents in their  
preferred language.
  the order chosen by the author is not usually important.

However until very recently, the first language when using <switch> in  
an SVG document that the user accepted was the one displayed.

This is clearly unhelpful, to the user.

The very recent SMIL 3.0 workaround is allowReorder="yes"
however the default is "no"
this again empowers the author.

The user centred remedy is to ask the user, would you like this  
document, or documents in general, displayed in the authors preferred  
language, or your own? The default being your own, one would expect...

This requires no action on the part of the author, and very little on  
the part of UA developers.

instead of which it's taken more than six years to specify a broken  
When the proper solution is completely obvious when stated in English.

unfortunately, this process also ensures that some UA developers,  
insist on implementing standards, even out-dated and old ones, rather  
than on being humane.


*my grandmother who is ninety six understood and was amused by this  
short story, that continues to elude the W3c process.
Received on Thursday, 19 March 2009 19:33:22 UTC

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