W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-vision-core@w3.org > July 2010

Re: Doing HTML the right way at W3C

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 10:52:40 -0400
Message-ID: <4C485B38.5010205@intertwingly.net>
To: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
CC: public-vision-core@w3.org
Warning: extreme snippage ahead.

On 07/22/2010 08:50 AM, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> like 0.5 FTE per WG.
>     I can see this taking anywhere between 0.5 FTE and 1 FTE.
>     I can see this taking anywhere between 0.3 FTE or more.
>    This is 0.5 FTE for one year.
>    This is a 0.5 FTE effort, for HTML, CSS, SVG validators.
>    This is a 1 FTE effort... to start with. Clearly, this requires a
> different business model. We could also talk to the Open Group, who has
> been doing certification for a while.

Now I see where this is going.

I assume that FTE is Full Time Equivalent.

I'd like to suggest a different approach.

Take a peek at http://rubyonrails.org/

Get Excited.  Get Started.  Get Better.  Get Involved.

Very simple message.  Very powerful.  Lots of verbs.  Engages the reader.

Click on a few links.  Pretty soon you are outside of the rails site. 
Outside of what the core developers created.  Into the community.

Now to to the W3C site.  While very much improved recently, what you see 
is a bunch of nouns.  Almost as useful as a card catalog.  If I know 
what I want and what it is named, I can find it efficiently.  And most 
of the links are inward.  Those that are outward are to leafs, things 
like YouTube videos created by, for, or with the W3C but hosted elsewhere.

Now another excerpt:

>   Our validator effort has been pushed into an open source model. It
> kind of works as far as I understand it but we also know that our
> validators are aging, to the point of becoming harmful sometimes.

Building a community is hard work.  But I can point to a lot of 
successful open source activities.

The fact that this particular open source effort has had mixed results 
is not a general indictment of open source models.  Any conclusions that 
are drawn from this need to be specifically scoped to the situation at 
hand.  In this case, I would say that neither Henri Sivonen nor the W3C 
know how to build an open source community around this effort.  I say 
this as a person who has contributed to a large number of open source 
activities.  And as one who has contributed to the HTML5 validator.

But lets broaden the topic.  We don't just want validators, we want 
education, online training, course materials, etc., etc., etc.

How does one do that?  One way is to hire a competent program manager. 
One who tends to talk in terms of FTE's.  Then you gather requirements, 
funding, and hire people, and then get to work.

Another is to be opportunistic.  Build a community.  The W3C has a 
valuable name.  And HTML5 is very hot.  Lots of people are building 
education, online training, course materials, etc.

Q: What do these people need most of all?
A: Attention.

I'll note that Hyperlinks are something that the W3C knows how to do.

There are two mental steps involved.  The first is to go from thinking 
of the W3C as a place where content is created to being a place where 
curators work.  We don't create the best, our value add is in selecting 
the best.  This will take time.  Initially we will likely link to pretty 
much anything that seems related.  Over time we will improve.

The next mental step is to go from think of the W3C as being curators to 
being a place where curation happens.  Amazon doesn't pick best sellers, 
Twitter doesn't create trending topics, reddit doesn't pick stories...

So, if I wanted to know about video or making my content work with 
screen readers, or animation, or adding metadata so that I can get 
Facebook like buttons on my pages, or... whatever; where would I go?

People are building on W3C work today.  Celebrate it.  Link to it. 
Reward it with attention.

Do that, and they will do more.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Thursday, 22 July 2010 14:53:14 UTC

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