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Re: Friendly Specs (was Re: Modularization of XHTML B.3.4.2)

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 2000 19:37:07 +0200
To: Susan Lesch <lesch@w3.org>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <u1e1fs0jhdkabop01u9l06asf08rmvkip8@4ax.com>
On Sat, 8 Apr 2000 23:26:29 -0400 (EDT), Susan Lesch <lesch@w3.org>

>Simon St.Laurent wrote:

>>"Correct publishing methods?"
>>I'd appreciate it if the W3C specs were written in friendlier language, but

>What kind of improvement would you and Jan Roland Eriksson like to 
>see? Would you care to point out a good model?

Well Simon is probably much better than me to give suggestions on what
could be improved in the language.

>I've always thought of W3C specifications as formal expositions, and 
>in the interest of clarity for a worldwide audience, hoped they would 
>exemplify "standard" rather than "colloquial" US English, as 
>differentiated, for example, in the old standby high school textbook, 
>_English Grammar and Composition_ by John Warriner (Amazon.com sales 
>rank 75,933 at the time of this writing ;-).

Basically I have no problem to understand what is said, provided that
there are defining instances available for abbreviations and acronyms
used in the text. It's hard enough to try to understand technical
matters in a foreign language, so I don't think I should have to spend
extra time to learn a third "lingo" just to understand what I'm reading.

And I may not be the one with the most problems still, a lot of others
around the world are less trained in English than I am.

>Sorry if this would be better addressed on www-talk or another list. 
>I recall discussing W3C style sheets on www-style, and the W3C home 
>page on w3c-wai-gl.

So let's bring it back on topic then.

It's an irritation, to me at least, that so many of W3's pages needs to
be side scrolled even at fairly common browser window widths.

I have not analysed the background of this down to the nitty gritty
details, but from a quick check it seems to be caused by an all to
frequent use of TABLE with PRE markup, at other times style rules clash
with PRE content in similar ways.
Just to pick one, and this one is not the worst...


...designing pages that adopts them self to a wider span of browsing
situations is not that hard. I think that just about every one of my own
creations can be rendered without side scrolling from some 350-400px
wide browser windows with common font sizes, so surely it can be done.

I have noted that the quality of markup syntax has improved from what it
used to be.

Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Received on Sunday, 9 April 2000 13:30:38 UTC

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