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Fwd: a few remarks on Publishing and Linking

From: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 06:07:42 +0100
Message-Id: <70E55C34-DFD0-48B9-89D7-8F506DAC1B1D@w3.org>
To: "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
Forwarding to the public TAG list at Noah's request.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
> Subject: a few remarks on Publishing and Linking
> Date: December 17, 2012 12:34:42 +0100
> To: Ashok Malhotra <ashok.malhotra@oracle.com>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, Dan Appelquist <dan@torgo.com>
> Cc: Wendy Seltzer <wseltzer@w3.org>, Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>, Yves Lafon <ylafon@w3.org>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
> 
> Ashok, Larry, Jeni, Dan --
> 
> I've read "publishing and linking" in some detail and wanted to share a few comments.
> 
> Basically, I think that it is a document that has a lot of good material in it.  However, I do not believe it should proceed on the W3C recommendation track in its current shape.
> 
> I've been struggling for a while with how to best articulate my reservations about the document.  The most concise I can do is:  This document tries to be too many things to too many audiences, and isn't any of them.
> 
> The review in a nutshell.
> 
> Lawyers will be surprised by an anecdotal and not very systematic treatment of a few examples of how policy, law, and contract have tried to treat linking.  They won't find the current state of the art in the legal discussion described (or even referred to), nor will they find the legal anecdote translated into technical questions that are usefully discussed later.  Nor will they find novel legal questions teed up. 
> 
> Policy wonks won't find any policy questions asked, nor will they find any of these translated into technical questions that are usefully discussed later.
> 
> The technical description is detailed to the point where it's incomprehensible to the non-technical reader, so either the policy wonk or the lawyer who read all the way through will walk away confused.  As a notable example, you're explaining links in terms of a elements and href attributes.  I can't think of an audience that would understand a word of what you're talking about here, and doesn't know what "linking" is. 
> 
> The technical reader won't find the legal discussion explained to a point where they could do anything useful with it, and will find the technical discussion not very detailed, anecdotal, and unsystematic by itself -- and, importantly, won't learn much of a new technical systematic, either.
> 
> I'd urge you to simplify the document, significantly.  First, pick *one* audience that you're writing for.  Then, identify what your key messages are, explain them, structure the document around them, and save the rest for later.
> 
> That's the short review.  I took significantly more detailed notes when I read through the document, and would be happy to provide examples -- but I don't actually think that the detailed discussion will be particularly helpful.
> 
> What this document needs is a strong author's hand, and an agreed focus.
> 
> At this stage, I respectfully request that you do not advance the current document on the recommendation track.
> 
> Regards,
> -- 
> Thomas Roessler, W3C <tlr@w3.org> (@roessler)
> 
> 
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 05:07:43 GMT

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