W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2012

Re: Fast-track new people to areas www-style need the most help with

From: Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 10:39:59 +0000
Message-ID: <CAMCRKi+mmqv_YDebm4KTYa8uXyV6dCYpn2pRF6Orht_UyUnNig@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org Style" <www-style@w3.org>
Hey, thanks for the feedback :) I've got some responses inline too...

> You missed the point about "interest". There are a number of people who
> have edited CSS specifications in the past but are now doing something
> else for various reasons, say they work on things more important, and if
> you add editing resources to the CSS Working Group, that might well re-
> sult in current editors moving on to work on other things, so you might
> ultimately fail to close the gap that you see.

Fair point, though I had rather assumed interest was self-selecting :) I
doubt people are going to join the list if they're not already interested
in it. Though there might be more interest in it if what the list does was
clearer to the outside world.

> You can also consider this from another angle: you can't arbitrarily in-
> crease output of the CSS Working Group without also increasing resources
> spent on actually implementing the specifications while expecting good
> results.

Yep, but that's not a problem for the WG, that's a problem for browser

> You don't exactly see authors or users protesting outside the offices of
> the various browser vendors demanding better advanced layout features or
> gradients or

Not in such dramatic maner no, but more practically - yeah you kind of do
actually. In fact I'd say that most of the useful information I find about
new CSS features is wrtten on and by browser vendors. Mozilla, Opera, and
Webkik all have blogs that are extremely good at communicating this stuff
and soliciting feedback from the wider author community. I've seen a number
of people on Twitter talking directly to browser vendor representatives
about this stuff. I could point to @brucelawson as one prime example of
this, he's always fielding questions about that stuff, and talking about
Opera's work, getting feedback etc.

whatever the new black currently is,

I do find the flippancy of this a little off-putting. To be very clear:
CSS's shoddy layout systems have been complained about, loudly, for many

The author-facing feature development you do see is usually comes from in-
> ternal needs ("we want more people to use our webmail more, but people
> often need their mail when offline, so give us offline access features")
> and from not wanting to fall behind ("when people make cool stuff using
> $feature and that feature does not work in our browser, people switch").

Yep, that's an issue but one outside of the www-list concerns. It effects
us, but we can't effect it.

> Most of these questions are not good questions as the general answers
> should be very obvious.

Agreed - they should be! They're not though. They're obvious to you because
you are familiar with all of those topics. Please, try and clear your mind
of what you already know, and approach the list from the perspective of an
enthusiastic newcomer. How do you find out that stuff? And I am being
absolutely serious. You find your way to the www-list archive. How do you
discover what the www-style archive page is and what www-style does? How do
you find out how to join? Once you do join, how do you find out
the etiquette of the list? How do you find out that you're supposed to
quote full threads in all replies? That you're supposed to structure the
subject line in some way? How do I find out how to set up my mail client?
What special headers are sent with mail that I might find useful? How do I
get my client to expose them? How do I find out who is editing what specs?
How do I discover how the W3c functions and the specific part the list has
to play? How do I discover how specs are edited? How do I discover the
process in the lifespan of a request? That it goes "bring up a point in the
list > resolve the point > ... what now ..."?

It's these points I'm talking about. General "stuff" that's taken for
granted here but that isn't general knowledge outside of the group.

So, in conclusion, there are no people who prepare to become an editor
> of Cascading Style Sheets specifications, nor is there any common way
> that isn't rather complex how people end up in that position. Trying to
> understand this under the assumption there are and there is, is unlike-
> ly to produce satisfactory answers.

 So this needs to be explained to people who are looking to help :)

My whole point is to get the myriad of resources surrounding the www-style
list in a better state to be of help people who are only here because they
want to help us.
Received on Monday, 16 January 2012 10:41:11 UTC

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