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

From: Jim Melton <jim.melton@oracle.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 08:37:54 -0700
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Cc: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>,"" <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: <E1RaURT-0007aV-Pl@in02.mta.xmission.com>
I agree -- fervently -- with Noah.  I do a lot of reading and review 
offline (sitting on airplanes), and I need to know what the 
references are supposed to be.  Frankly, even when I'm reading in my 
office, I don't want to have to click on every link just to find out 
what's at the other end.  It wastes my time, it wastes my bandwidth, 
and it delays me in getting my main job done.

Editors, like programmers, have to understand the rule of 
proportions.  One editor/programmer doing a somewhat boring detail in 
a document/program can save thousands of readers/users from having to 
do the same thing for themselves.  I'm an editor and co-editor of a 
number of documents, both in the W3C and elsewhere, and I work hard 
to continue to refine my toolset to make it easier for me to do the 
things that make it easier on my readers.  As Noah said, it's not 
fun, creative work to maintain a bibliography, but it's part of the 
job (and a pretty darned small part at that).

Hope this helps,

At 12/13/2011 07:30 AM, 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.
>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.
>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.
>Thank you.

Jim Melton --- Editor of ISO/IEC 9075-* (SQL)     Phone: +1.801.942.0144
   Chair, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC32 and W3C XML Query WG    Fax : +1.801.942.3345
Oracle Corporation        Oracle Email: jim dot melton at oracle dot com
1930 Viscounti Drive      Alternate email: jim dot melton at acm dot org
Sandy, UT 84093-1063 USA  Personal email: SheltieJim at xmission dot com
=  Facts are facts.   But any opinions expressed are the opinions      =
=  only of myself and may or may not reflect the opinions of anybody   =
=  else with whom I may or may not have discussed the issues at hand.  =
Received on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 15:42:05 UTC

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