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[SMIL30 LC comment] general structure and styling inconsistencies

From: Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 16:29:57 +0200
To: www-smil@w3.org
Message-Id: <200708011629.57636.Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>

Hello SMIL working group,

it is the first time I read (almost) a complete
SMIL draft (not just the timing and animation 
sections) and I had some problems with the
order of explained features.
It happens often, that elements or attributes
are used from later sections/modules without
any reference or explanation. This makes
understanding much more difficult as needed
and readers often have to search (and find
by chance or not, leaving it open, if something
is missing or that there maybe inconsistencies) 
useful definitions of used features.
This happens more often in informative section,
but this is not consequently avoided in normative
sections too...

a) General structure

The current order of chapters makes it hard to
read and to understand the specification.
For example the animation chapter (3) needs
the timing chapter (11) to be understandable.
The structure (10) and the media object (7)
are required to understand many examples in
the working draft. Why does the order of
chapters not reflect such strong dependencies
to simplify the understanding for the reader?

Furthermore, often links/references to 
required information in later (or earlier)
chapters are missing often and readers have to
search the complete draft to have a chance to
understand examples and sometimes the normative 
text too.

Why not a more useful order of chapters?
I'm sure, there is an even more ergonomic 
structure as this one:

1. About SMIL 3.0 
2. The SMIL 3.0 Modules
3. SMIL 3.0 Structure
4. SMIL 3.0 Media Object
5. SMIL 3.0 Timing and Synchronization
6. SMIL 3.0 Content Control
7. SMIL 3.0 Layout
8. SMIL 3.0 smilText
9. SMIL 3.0 Linking
10. SMIL 3.0 Metainformation
11. SMIL 3.0 Animation
12. SMIL 3.0 Time Manipulations 
13. SMIL 3.0 External Timing
14. SMIL 3.0 DOM 
15. SMIL 3.0 State 
16. SMIL 3.0 Transition Effects 
17. SMIL 3.0 Language Profile 
18. SMIL 3.0 Mobile Profile 
19. SMIL 3.0 Extended Mobile Profile 
20. SMIL 3.0 DAISY Profile 
21. SMIL 3.0 Tiny Profile 
22. SMIL 3.0 Scalability Framework

This may already help to understand the
draft for a reader not already familar with
the SMIL modules from earlier versions...


b) General structure, styling and wording inconsistencies

There a styling inconsistencies between 
different chapters.

For example in the timing chapter such 'meta information'
like 'This section is informative' or 'This section is normative'
is outside the box of the section, in most other chapters it is
inside, sometimes even the informative note inside a
normative box and the section styled as informative is
From a logical point (see Goedel and others) such a 
meta information should not talk about itself, therefore
such a note shouldn't be inside the box, it is talking about
(is the paragraph talking about itself to be normative a
normative statement or an informative? And if it
identifies itself as informative, is this a normative
statement? ;o). And if it is inside its own paragraph (div), does
it talk about itself or the following section?
On the other hand the use of 'This' implies, that the 
meta information is talking about it's own section.
-> to avoid such a semantical problem, one can
use a construction like this:

<div class="sectionBox">
  <div class="descdef">
    <em>The following section is informative</em>
  <div class="informative">
    <p> informative text... </p>

Furthermore the styling could be explained in the
introduction, how informative and normative sections
are styled (and which classes are used, for the case 
the viewer does not support styling).
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 14:45:33 UTC

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