Re: Community input Re: A bit of electioneering...

2007/11/21, Charles McCathieNevile <>:
> On Wed, 21 Nov 2007 01:21:23 +0100, James Graham <> wrote:
> > Karl Dubost wrote:
> >> Le 20 nov. 2007 à 06:59, Ian Hickson a écrit :
> >>> an idea usually has to have a lot of demand to get
> >>> beyond the proposal stage.
> >>
> >> Hmm not sure about that. I haven't read handful of messages craving for
> >> all apis.
> >> With this criteria, that would even discard them altogether. It really
> >> depends in which community you are asking.
> > I get the impression that some people believe that HTML 5 has not had
> > sufficient feedback from particular user communities. Assuming I am not
> > mistaken in this impression, it would be interesting to see concrete
> > suggestions for gathering feedback from groups for whom the channels
> > already available to comment on the spec have not been adequate.
> It is a truism that we don't get enough feedback. Whatever the process.
> Some simple examples: HTML5 at WHAT-WG suffered from the lack of any
> patent policy, and so feedback was not delivered by people who had
> concerns about the patent landscape. The draft is not readily available
> except in english, and the high volume of discussion more or less
> automatically precludes non-english speakers.
> So off the top of my head...
> One has been to move the work to W3C, where the patent policy is at least
> clearer. Done :)
> Publishing a concise summary of the changes compared to something already
> better known, such as HTML 4, allows people to understand what the
> hundreds of pages they get are trying to say, which is a help to reading
> them. Also done at least in an initially useful form.
> Publish regular, stable, formal public drafts for feedback (and
> systematically addressing that feedback in a timely and visible manner see
> below). I have noted (oh, only much too often) that this is an explicit
> request from developers in certain countries who are not strong english
> speakers (and these are the ones whose english is good enough to
> correspond with me in english). About to happen for the first time?
> Publishing translations of the formal stable drafts, to allow
> non-english-speaking communities to gather their thoughts, shake them
> around, translate them back to english, and then work through ensuing
> discussion. This is very resource-intensive, but important for many
> languages - the one where I have most experience is Spanish, and that is
> in a community relatively culturally close to this working group. I think
> anyone who claims this was done sufficiently at the end of the process is
> likely to be folling themselves or just not looking very widely, but the
> more of it that can happen the better.
> Clear raising and disposing of issues. The current system of simply
> throwing everything into the maelstrom of several different mailing lists,
> with decision making processes being more or less completely opaque, is
> pretty alienating for a large segment of the community who simply give up.
> We have a system to try and do this now...
> That would be a start. There is, of course, a need in the real world for a
> spec to be shipped, which is in tension with the desire for sufficient
> feedback. As Maciej says, we might finish HTML 5 but it will be a lot
> longer before we finish HTML (unless we suddenly decide to replace it with
> some CSS-based language or something...).
> Cheers
> Chaals
> --
> Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
>      je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
>              Try the Kestrel - Opera 9.5 alpha

Not being a native English speaker (Spanish), I must say that many
times I'm afraid to say something here that can be misunderstood. I
have seen so many fights over little words with  the details and the
way that those words can be understood by each other that it seems to
me almost better to shut up and wait that someone else raises the
concerns in a way that follows the rules and can clearly be agreed.

Some of you might think that this is foolish, but with all the fights
almost accusing other people of not being willing to improve the web
for everyone because there's a little sentence missing or a word
should be added/removed, well, I wonder if you ever realized that
someday these docs will be translated to other languages and so many
people that doesn't understand English will read them as their
reference, but nothing can be translated perfectly, so in the end you
have to trust in the people.

Not releasing anything until it's perfect means that it can't be
translated and as Charles has pointed out there are tons of people
that won't be able to read and check this work. Even most of English
speaking developers won't waste their time looking at a SVN to read
some docs that can change at any moment. On the other side if there's
a draft or whatever then people will take a look at it.


Received on Wednesday, 21 November 2007 15:34:56 UTC