Re: Grievances - Wide

On Thu, 7 Dec 1995, Daniel W. Connolly wrote:

> >(5) Proposed additions and changes to the spec MUST be accompanied by a
> >written rationale, and SHOULD be accompanied by at least an attempt to
> >analyze the proposal with respect to possible alternatives.  I would
> >like to see brief summaries of these rationales and analyses included
> >in the spec itself, since this would aid implementors in understanding
> >the spec, and would probably avoid some future arguments.
> This is another good idea. Again, I've found that it's a LOT of work.
> I think you'd need another editor to take on the work of doing
> a rationale. Any volunteers?

I believe there is a fundamental difficulty where one person is both
an important design idea contributor and the editor of the consensus
design document. There is certainly a strong temptation to economize
on effort and record design ideas in the form of new text in the
design document with the idea of editing the stuff out later. Particularily
where it seems like the design represented in the document is broken.

The problem is however that this substantially increases the effort 
required of all the other designers who must review the document to
learn about changes as opposed discussing the ideas, reaching concenus
and then only needing to review the document to insure it represents
concensus and looking for other issues of course.

I think many of us believe the draft is a group effort with an editor, 
not design proposals from a designer. That I think is the basic conflict.
One which I don't have the resource to resolve. But unless some organization
can relieve Roy of part of the responsiblity or otherwise help him have more
time to devote to the process, I think we must attempt to be tolerant of
Roy's attempts to work efficiently AND perhaps Roy can help us feel more
like participants by making sure new ideas are presented to the list for
discussion. It is generally accepted that discussion will flow best if
each post consists of a single main topic so my suggestion would be that
concurrent with revealing a draft which includes new ideas, Roy would
provide a set of summary postings which briefly outline the new idea,
approach, etc along with page references or whatever in the draft.
If there is rationale or background or a problem statement not appropriate
(or simply not yet included) for the draft, that could be in the post.

Then the draft doesn't contain suprises and the discussion can be much
more focused. In turn those of us on the list can focus back on content
and not process and work effectively with Roy's efficiencies.

Just a 'long' idea...

Dave Morris

Received on Thursday, 7 December 1995 23:26:15 UTC