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Re: References Re: What are the requirements/problems? Re: Working on New Styles for W3C Specifications

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 11:39:56 +0000
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <64990DCC2BB84088A0D06D1EB969DA29@marcosc.com>

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> (a) Following the link might get you a 404. Yes, cool URIs do not
> change, but unfortunately some orgs do not get that.

Some go out of business, so sometimes it's not their fault… sometimes things just change (e.g., companies change names and their old domains are forgotten about).  
> When that happes,
> additional information like the full title, the organization, the date
> and the authors can help finding the document somewhere else.

Question is still if you need all four. Certainly, all four provide a lot of redundancy and fallback, but that comes at the cost to the Editor: I'm personally tired of having to keep my references up to date (it's very time consuming), so I'm simply not doing it any more unless it can be proved that it is not possible to find a document with just the old URL and the title… I've actually kept the organization in my specs, but that's it. I also see others moving towards this model (e.g., HTML5, DOM4, which have kept author and org, but have dropped showing dates, status of document, and "available at" etc. which is seen in "classical" referencing).

This is what we used to see:
Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0, Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Eve Maler, and François Yergeau eds. W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Available at http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/.

This is what we see today in HTML5 (note the version drop also!):
Extensible Markup Language , Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen et al.. W3C.

This is what I do:
Extensible Markup Language. W3C.

> (b) And yes, the origin of a spec tells me a lot about the kind of
> stability I can expect. Not going to name specific organizations here,
> though.

I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I also agree that if I see certain organizations being referenced, I can probably make a pretty quick judgement call about the document itself.  

Marcos Caceres
Received on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 12:10:13 UTC

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