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Noah Mendelsohn Comments on July 26 Draft of TAG Versioning Finding

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 19:21:56 -0400
To: "David Orchard" <dorchard@bea.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFC69DAB1C.B44E58DD-ON852571D8.007D663F-852571D8.00805AE4@lotus.com>
First of all, thanks again to Dave for the truly heroic work on the 
versioning finding.  This problem is as tough as they get IMO, and I think 
the drafts are making really steady progress.  Still, as I've mentioned on 
a number of teleconferences, I have a number of concerns regarding the 
conceptual layering in the draft versioning finding, and some suggestions 
that I think will make it cleaner and more effective.  Dan Connolly made 
the very good point that it is really only approriate to raise such 
concerns in the context of a detailed review of what has already been 
drafted.   So, I've tried to do that. 

A copy of my annotated version of the July 26 draft is attached.  I've 
taken quite a bit of trouble over these comments, which are quite 
extensive, and while I'm sure that they will prove to be only partly on 
the right track, I hope they will get a detailed review not just from Dave 
but also from other concerned TAG members.   Anyway, what I've done is to 
take Dave's July 26th draft and add comments marked up using CSS 
highlighting.  These are in two main groups:

1) An introductory section sets out some of the main architectural issues 
and ideas that I've been trying to convey.  I don't expect these will seem 
entirely justified until you read the rest of the comments (if then), but 
I think it's important to collect the significant ideas, and to separate 
them from the smaller editorial suggestions.

2) I've gone through about the first third of Dave's draft, inserting 
detailed comments.  Some of these are purely editorial, but most of them 
are aimed at motivating and highlighting the concerns that led me to 
propose the major points in that introductory chapter.  Indeed, I've tried 
to hyperlink back from the running comments to the larger points, as I 
think that helps to motivate them.

No editor working on a large draft entirely welcomes voluminous comments, 
especially ones that have structural implications.  Dave:  I truly hope 
this is ultimately useful, and I look forward to working with you on it. 
Where possible, I've tried to suggest text fragments you can steal if you 
like them.  I actually am fairly excited, because working through Dave's 
draft has helped me to crystalize a number of things about versioning in 
my own mind.  I think we're well along to telling a story that's very 
clean, very nicely layered, and perhaps a bit simpler and shorter than the 
current draft suggests.  I don't think it involves throwing out vast 
swaths of what Dave has drafted, so much as cleaning up and very carefully 
relayering some concepts. 

BTW: I will be around on and off until about Wed. afternoon, then gone 
until after US Labor Day weekend.   Thanks again, Dave.  Really nice work!

Noah

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/versioning-20060726.html



--------------------------------------
Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
1-617-693-4036
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Received on Monday, 28 August 2006 23:22:38 GMT

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