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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 15:30:07 +0000
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
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: <B3960413A23246E685F3D403CCC7B0FD@marcosc.com>

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 2:30 PM, Noah Mendelsohn wrote:

> On 12/13/2011 5:51 AM, Marcos Caceres wrote:
> > Again, what is the use case?
> With respect, Marcos, you've asked this several times, and I think you've  
> gotten answers including:
> * A link goes 404 and you want to know what the intended reference was so  
> you can hunt it up or get a near equivalent
> * You are reading offline, perhaps on paper, and want to know what the  
> reference is
> * The biblio text provides a degree of redundancy, helping to catch  
> situations in which the wrong link was used or, e.g., cases in which the  
> intention was to link a dated copy but what was linked was undated, or vice  
> versa (this is quite common, IMO). In your example from a later email, it  
> may have been intentional to make a forward reference to  
> http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/, but it may also have been intended to  
> reference http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-xml-20081126/ or  
> http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-xml-19980210. A good biblio entry should  
> indicate which was intended, e.g. "Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0  
> (Fifth Edition) W3C Recommendation 26 November 2008", and so that provides  
> a useful crosscheck.
> * ...several others.
Thanks for the summary. Sorry to have sounded repetitive.  
> I respect the fact that for >you< as a reader of specifications, these are  
> low or zero priority, but others on this list who use specifications are  
> telling you they are important.

I'm absolutely not disregarding what people are saying (and have conceded on many points). I was just asking people to reflect and ask if it's *really really* important and what the use cases are (and if anyone has had to use this part of a specification in the manner we have been discussing… beyond, "one day, one might use x bits of the reference to find lost specification y" and so on).    
> Preparing good biblios has been part of the nuisance burden of being an  
> editor of prefessional quality documents going way back before there was a  
> Web. I've been editor for many W3C publications, and I know exactly what it  
> involves (frankly, if you keep it up as you go the burden can be spread  
> pretty well in time, but it's certainly not fun creative work). You've  
> asked whether others benefit from the work involved, and I'm hearing  
> several people, including me, responding with a clear "yes", along several  
> use cases. It's reasonable to debate whether those use cases merit the work  
> involved; I think they do, but in any case I'd be grateful if you'd  
> acknowledge that use cases have been provided.

I acknowledge that use cases have been provided and I'm extremely thankful for everyone who has contributed their time to this discussion. It has been interesting and enlightening to here how others use the bibliographies and the challenges with maintaining them.  

Kind regards,
Received on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 15:30:52 UTC

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