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[check] feedback form

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 16:17:01 +0900
Message-Id: <F57CFF42-5FB2-11D9-BB43-000A95E54002@w3.org>
To: QA Dev <public-qa-dev@w3.org>
As discussed last meeting [1] I have been experimenting with the idea  
of replacing the current feedback systems with an all-in-one form-based  

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-qa-dev/2004Dec/0007.html

Current methods:
- feedback page, with good instructions on how to report, search first,  
but never "obvious" enough to find and use.
- mailto: links from results page to provide "feedback" on error  
messages. While a good experiment, very useful during beta, and still  
useful to help miserable users around, it gives no guidance whatsoever  
on expected content, which gives us feedback of very varied quality,  
ranging from empty messages (implying that the subject is some kind of  
magic id that will solve everything, I suppose) to real, good feedback.
- bugzilla: generally a good way to get info on what's wrong and manage  
requests/messages, yet a bit complicated (the latest version of  
bugzilla fixes that, a little) and not a very nice way to answer.

A new system can certainly not replace all three. Notably, bugzilla  
will stay for bug tracking. It would be nice, however, to combine the  
good aspects of form-base, web page, and e-mail to get good, controled  
feedback while keeping the possibility to create mail threads.

I have hence been toying with a script that generate a form and  
instructions to fill it. An instance is currently running at :

This new form-driven page could:
- replace the current feedback page, with the nice addition to provide  
direct access to a feedback mechanism
- be linked from results page, with the proper parameters to pre-fill  
URI and error id, e.g:
- allow people to send in bug reports, with a link to bugzilla for  
those brave enough

Questions remain, however, on how the message is generated. I assume  
that it is supposed to be eventually sent to www-validator, and that  
ideally some kind of filtering would be good.

- solution 1 is to have the script simply send the mail.
PROs: simple, straightforward
CONs: perhaps not very intuitive given that new posters will have their  
message challenged by the archive approval system by mail, not web. Not  
a big deal, however.

- solution 2 is to have the script generate a boilerplate mail, and  
tell the user "copy-paste this and send to www-validator@w3.org".
PROS: less problems with clever people impersonating others, using form  
to spam list, etc
CONS: say hello to munged mails in HTML. Not very user friendly

solution 3 is to have the script post to a database, have another [with  
auth] script used to moderate and send "good" ones to w-v@.
PROS: user-friendly, well controled, we could even think of "cleaning  
up" messages before they reach the list
CONS: more work to code up, more work to maintain, delay before  
feedback reaches list. Does not remove risk of silly impersonations.

solution 3 has my preference, but I am a bit wary of the work implied.

Also, neither of these solutions provide a good way to separate  
feedback for the validator from, say, feedback for a given instance of  
a validator, installed in a company.

Your thoughts on the various options much welcome...

Received on Thursday, 6 January 2005 07:17:12 UTC

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