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Meeting notes, 16 September 2014

From: Amelia Bellamy-Royds <amelia.bellamy.royds@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:40:06 -0600
Message-ID: <CAFDDJ7xOjg1TEdZgB+2YU0-O2xsAwi-sR0421p9HDWsN6v2XEw@mail.gmail.com>
To: List WebPlatform public <public-webplatform@w3.org>
WebPlatform Docs, weekly telcom meeting

Chaired by Doug Schepers (shepazu)
In attendance:

   - Amelia Bellamy-Royds (AmeliaBR, scribing)
   - Jen Simmons (jensimmons)
   - Eliot Graff (eliot)

TOPICS: update on ongoing projects, what's next for compatibility tables

Starting a telcon, with an almost-quorum of 4

shepazu (chairing): schedule -- will be away later in the month, vacation
plus speaking in Sao Paolo; original plan included a DocSprint, but the
local organization has changed over and it looks like it will be more

...recap from last week: we discussed options for a "mini DocSprint",
getting people introduced to the concept, some editing, encouraging
translation into Portuguese

...we really want translations for languages in areas where English is not
a significant second language

eliot: Russian would be another

shepazu: translations are something we should put focus on, have a strategy
around it

... last week we also talked about the HTML5 recommendation status
announcement, considered whether we could have comprehensive HTML docs by
then, but that doesn't seem likely.  Amelia suggested that we prep things
so we are ready for new contributors on HTML, and capitalize on the
announcement to encourage people to document the now-defined standard.

eliot: Our goal (as organizers) has not been to do the documentation, but
to create the infrastructure for the community to write docs, so that seems
like a good strategy

shepazu: By that time, in less than a few weeks, we should have a
functional annotation system.

... we want people to go through the specs, identify areas that need

AmeliaBR: Clarify: annotations for the specs or annotations for webplatform

shepazu: they are one and the same,

...we've been working (with renoirb) and the Hypothesis team on this, and
there will be a way for you to search all annotations everywhere; e.g., you
could search "SVG" and "needs example"

... the annotation system will be for our pages, on the wiki, but there
will also be a script on certain W3 specifications, that will be connected
to our server.

... Instead of sending an email, they will make an account on our server
and create a note there which will tie our docs back into the W3 specs.

... It also lets people leave comments on specifications, about what should
be documented on webplatform docs.

... e.g., could identify a specific sentence or detail about an element,
that comment would show up on the webplatform page about that element as
well as on the specs.  Then when the documentation is taken care of, that
comment could be closed in both places.

... and vice versa: if someone leaves a comment on our docs, e.g., that
something is really confusing, that something should be changed in the
actual specs, that comment can easily be connected back to the actual specs.

...we're hoping to get that virtuous cycle going.

... Amelia, what else did we do last week?

AmeliaBR: renoirb gave us an update on compatibility tables, he also sent
some updates to the email list since then

shepazu: now we have to decide if we want to work on the caniuse data, or
focus on the W3 test data

AmeliaBR: I'd recommend focusing energy on the test suite, rather than
spending a lot of time on caniuse.com

jensimmons: but what is the test data like?  I use caniuse all the time,
that's existing, reliability data

<+AmeliaBR> http://test.csswg.org/harness/

<@shepazu> https://github.com/w3c/web-platform-tests

jensimmons: that link, is that the tests, or is that the data?  it's a
terrible user interface

shepazu: it is a terrible user interface, there's lots of data, but it's
not easily available

jensimmons: well that could be the differentiator, where we could make a

eliot: the data is there, but it's not available in a universal way.  Also,
while it's great to have tests connected to the specs, it's nice to have a
more top-level practical synthesis, which is what caniuse does well

AmeliaBR: In a way, the caniuse data complements the MDN data, because it
focuses on the top-level, big concepts, while MDN is more
element-by-element, attribute-by-attribute.  So if we can integrate that
easily in our structure, that would be beneficial to have compat data on
top-level pages

shepazu: I'm kind of on the fence.  We would have to massage the caniuse
data a lot; but, when we adapted the MDN data, we did use codes and info
similar to what caniuse uses, for e.g. whether polyfill or prefix is

...but we would have to work on the mapping of their data to our

...and it's not just the data, it's whether we would add anything as far as
making it easier to access

jensimmons: is the plan to merge all the data into one super data set, or
are we going to be displaying this side by side?

shepazu: no, I think we'd have to decide, for any given page, which data to
use.  Since the caniuse data is based on some testing, it would probably
replace the MDN data, if there was a one-to-one match.  Then later, if we
have the W3 data, that could replace

jensimmons: But we also have to be careful, e.g. tests might not catch all
the little nuances, where caniuse has notes or explanations that someone
has gone in and added

AmeliaBR: The difference is that W3 tests try to represent that with
multiple tests, each of which catches a different situation or edge case,
rather than summing it up with one measurement.  But we'd have to decide
how to display that information.

jensimmons: The other great thing about caniuse is that they clearly
display the versions of web browsers, which is much more relevant than just
saying something "is supported in Chrome"

shepazu: that's what I was saying, it's not just the data, it's how they
display it, which caniuse does so well

... we really want to get away from the idea of just being another MDN.  We
want to look at other added benefits.  E.g., caniuse has better compat
data, but we not the other info

... but I still want to be better than "MDN + caniuse data"; which even
that isn't straightforward, because the level of detail doesn't match up

... jen, maybe if you could think, looking at the caniuse data, how would
that be effectively integrated into a larger page, having all that
information about current, older and future versions, but display that

... similarly, another design challenge, is how to integrate the W3 tests;
when you have 30 tests on a property, and a browser passes 25 of them, how
do you display that information in a summary level, that someone could
click on to drill down and discover the specific cases where it is or isn't

...or, if you want to see how a feature is used, look at how the actual
tests are written to see that.  Do you want to think about that?

jensimmons:  On that issue, we could argue about what percentage of tests
is required for support, but some tests are more important than others, and
there's no way to program robots to be that smart.  So I think what you're
saying is good, don't try to convert to a binary supports/doesn't support,
just display the number of tests passed, and click on it for the details,
but the trick is to display that extended information in a useful way.

...but another thing, is to make sure that there is way for people to come
along, if they do understand it, to translate it into a human explanation
for others

...they could write "oh this is a little edge case, it's mostly supported",
or "this is a major problem, don't use this feature yet"

shepazu: A third, hybrid option, is to add the data to the page, but also
work to categorize the tests as edge cases vs core features, and feed that
information back to the test suite.

... I think that's what you were getting at, but the next step is to leave
the data on the tests

jensimmons: I think most people wouldn't really care about that.

shepazu: the difference is, that once we've categorized things, then it can
be updated automatically and affect how we display the information; people
wouldn't have to read this, but it would affect what they'd see.

...somebody could take that data, and update it, for example if things that
used to be edge cases are now being commonly used

...that would be a way of giving feedback to implementers, that this
specific test is important to us now

jensimmons: there are these sort of bleeding-edge technologies, like
viewport units that you can mostly use, but you have to be careful, about
where you can or can't use them, some are well supported (vh and vw),
others are buggy (vmin, vmax)

...to have someone say, these things are important, they are supported,
other things maybe it's not clear where they would be used, because they
don't have the support to actually use them and discover the different ways
they could be used

shepazu: either way, we're talking about adding human annotation over the
test results.  If you can all think about how this could be better
displayed or integrating, not just better than we're doing now, but better
than everyone else, to display it more compactly, more accurately, I think
that would be really useful.

AmeliaBR: I think, what we want is to have the convenience, the level of
detail about versions, that caniuse has, but have it at the much more
detailed level as far as specific features

shepazu: I think we have to do that, because that's how our site is laid
out; we can't use it just as caniuse has it, because it doesn't fit in our

jensimmons: I can definitely start thinking about it

AmeliaBR: long term, I'd really like to get to know the data on the W3
tests, and figure out how we can put a decent interface to that
Received on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:40:34 UTC

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