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About the mailing list [was: Re: Link in Nov 26 VC API minutes not correct? [was: Re: [INFRASTRUCTURE] Minutes auto-emailing fixed

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2021 10:20:55 -0700
Message-ID: <769965c2-ec75-6ba5-223f-55c88f8378a0@sunshine.net>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, public-credentials@w3.org
On 2021-11-02 4:24 pm, Manu Sporny wrote:
> What we do have now (thanks to the Jitsi infrastructure upgrade) is the video and audio recording of the presentation: https://meet.w3c-ccg.org/archives/w3c-ccg-vcapi-2021-10-26.mp4 If you skip to 36 minutes into the presentation, you can see the screen that Joe is sharing and the numbers that I'm talking about.

Thanks, got it and found the diagram in it.

> You can do some sleuthing to get any time offset associated with the IRC log by looking at the timestamps in the raw IRC log:

I can see this also, but I think following the trail to find a diagram that didn't link to the minutes properly would be beyond me.

And I find I'd like to make a general comment spurred by this:

As a person who has been following this mailing list since its inception, I feel that the list may have crossed a critical point now, where non-technical people are fully excluded. Perhaps it would be good to acknowledge that openly.

That is: in my recollection, before about three years ago, there were conceptual discussions in plain English about various important decisions (whistleblowers and pseudonymity; identity and the creation of DIDs; etc.). But with the increasing complexity, and specificity, of the discussions now, about building code that works in order to implement the main structure that has been decided, that no longer happens.

I fully support the fact that this work needs to occur, and probably in the way it is being done, using GitHub and the Jitsi meetings.

But I'd just like to make it clear that following what you are doing used to be possible by the mailing list, by reading the minutes and the discussion threads. But that is getting harder and harder, for three reasons I can think of now:

1. Use of multiple acronyms in posts, without expanding them even once. I've seen as many as 6 acronyms in a 50 word post -- three of which weren't used on the list before.

2. The minutes seem to have become automated in some way that often garbles them to the point of unreadability for long sections. For example, at times, they: include comments that are part of background discussions (IRC?) that interrupt the flow of the main speaker; flip some things out of time sequence, so that a comment will refer to something that hasn't occurred yet; leave out large sections of speeches; get many words wrong (auto-recognition problems).

All these things together now mean that, IMO, half the minutes aren't comprehensible, to an outsider who wasn't there. Plus with this last one, the diagrams you were discussing weren't linked, and so following what was going on became impossible.

And here I'd like to take a step back, to the bigger picture, and say that at one point in my life I was part of a group of experts working on a specific problem. At that time I learned that it's common, worldwide, for the cutting edge of science to work with about 100 people who really know what's going on in a particular narrow field. That's where the advances are happening in that field. And I understood what that meant, because I was one of those 100 in that field. We did peer review of each other's papers in journals, etc. We could understand each other; but not many other people could understand what we were saying.

And I think what's happening here is that you've more or less created such a field. And the people doing the Jitsi meetings and writing the code are the 100 people.

And the mailing list was created before that specialization occurred; before the rules of skill required for this phase were known. But now that it's known, and there's a specialized jargon and knowledge required, that's what's going to happen on the mailing list -- and probably unavoidably.

And so it seems best that I just leave the list, and the group, and let you create what you're going to create. Because translating the whole intricate process out of that specialized language will be more trouble than it's worth. :-)

But if anybody disagrees and wants to discuss this further, in plain English, of course I'll be happy to do that. LOL.

Steven Rowat

> https://meet.w3c-ccg.org/archives/w3c-ccg-vcapi-2021-10-26-irc.log Not ideal, I know... but it's there for those without sight/hearing challenges and with the desire to go back in time to the meeting and see/hear everything the rest of us experienced during that meeting. Hope that helps. -- manu
Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2021 17:21:13 UTC

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