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

From: Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:48:00 +0000
Cc: "www-style@w3.org Style" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <6272C6A2-9556-426A-94B4-C1B9ABE22B80@gmail.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Thanks for the detailed and clear responses again Tab :)

Definitely I'd like to see Fantasai's blog post featured on the http://w3.org/Style/CSS page - I think it makes absolute sense and is a natural fit for there - having seen it, it is a huge part of the sort of thing I was talking about in that it makes perfect reading as an introduction to newcomers. It's a great primer and helps everything else make sense :)



On 17 Jan 2012, at 19:31, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 9:31 AM, Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> 
>> I wrote a post about my first week's experience on the list [1], and Tab
>> Atkins Jr replied, clarifying what I think is a fairly obvious problem we
>> have: A lack of sufficiently skilled people capable of editing the actual
>> specs.
> 
> Note that, as Bjoern and Sylvain have pointed out, even with more
> people writing more specs, we might not necessarily get more CSS in
> browsers faster.  Writing a spec is only the first step - I pointed
> out in the comments to your blog post that the review stage is often
> slow, and then implementation itself has to happen.
> 
> That said, more editors is more better, to a degree.  I'd appreciate a
> few more interested people skilling themselves up and helping out with
> editting duties.  The process isn't linear - if there are more specs
> ready for experimental implementations, an implementor may be
> interested in one and work on it instead of working on something else.
> We've also got several specs that need attention in the form of
> spec-bug-fixing (luckily, we recently gained Anton who's working on
> some of the major bug-fix targets).
> 
> 
>> So, how can we start to address that? For my part I'm new here and don't
>> even know how I'd go about approaching this. I barely know anything about
>> how www-style actually functions as a group/organisation/system because
>> there's nothing explaining that.
>> 
>> Let's assume I want to be able to help out at that level - how do I find
>> out:
>> 
>> * What do I need to know?
>> * What skills must I have?
>> * How do I learn the things I must in order to edit a spec and work with the
>> group well?
> 
> Obviously, you need to know about CSS, both the language *and* the
> practical implementation of it.  This is easier to achieve if you work
> for a browser, but I learned it just by hanging out on the list and
> asking questions.  My own programming background definitely helped.
> 
> If you actually want to write specs, rather than just contribute to
> the group, you also need decent skills at technical writing.  I seem
> to have acquired these skills organically, so I don't know how to
> build them up if you don't already possess them.
> 
> 
>> * Who do I talk to about this?
> 
> You don't - if you've proven yourself good and useful, one of the
> group members may nominate you to join, and then we vote on it.  You
> only need to be a WG member if you're an editor, though - contributing
> to the group and offering review/criticism/ideas/etc can be done by
> the public.
> 
> 
>> * What is the process the group go through, from start to finish?
> 
> An editor comes up with an idea, presents it to the group in some form
> (this varies from sketches to actual proposed spec text), the group
> accepts or rejects it as a work item, and then it's an Editor's Draft.
> 
> From there it's standard W3C process - regularly publish Working
> Drafts until we can't get any more out of group discussion, publish a
> Last Call Working Draft to flush out final review issues, get to CR,
> build a test suite, and solicit implementations, deal with feedback
> from this (possibly returning to LC if large changes are required),
> then when it's "done" go to Proposed Rec to flush out remaining
> issues, and finally stop at Rec.
> 
> 
>> * Where are edits made (seriously, where do you edit a spec? How?).
> 
> We have instructions for that up on the wiki, but it's irrelevant for
> the public, since only editors actually make edits to the specs.  (We
> host specs on the W3C's CVS server, though we're planning to move to
> either the W3C's Hg server or maybe a git server.)
> 
> 
>> Much like I believe the public facing archive need a serious make-over (were
>> I capable, I would help out), I think general information dissemination
>> about how the www-style operates, and roles within it, could really do with
>> making clear. I would gladly write this up in a web-page that could get
>> hosted somewhere useful on the W3C - but I don't know that answers to do
>> that (and nor do I know how to go about it, who to contact, what the set-up
>> is, etc. That kind of illustrates my point all on its own).
> 
> Fantasai's blog post was pointed out in an earlier email as a good
> description of how the WG works and its general process.  If you'd
> like to feature it more prominently, just suggest how to do so!  We
> recently completely redid the homepage <http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/>
> and are still tweaking it.
> 
> ~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 19:48:40 GMT

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