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

From: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 09:55:40 +0900
Message-ID: <4EE7F40C.8060306@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
To: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
CC: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
On 2011/12/13 20:39, Marcos Caceres wrote:

> 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…

You put the burden of proof on the wrong side here. What may be 
impossible to prove today may become a reality soon. It has happened to 
me personally.

> 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).

Like many others in this discussion, I hope this can be fixed for the 
benefit of the readers. If we would write specs just so that they are 
easy to write for the editors, we wouldn't have to write them at all, or 
would we?

> This is what we used to see:
> [XML]
> 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!):
> [XML]
> Extensible Markup Language , Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen et al.. W3C.
> This is what I do:
> [XML]
> Extensible Markup Language. W3C.

I thought we wanted to make our specs easy to read, even for 
non-insiders. But this very short citation may easily give them the 
impression that we are pretty assuming folks. It may also give them the 
impression that we didn't do all our homework, and that the rest of the 
spec might similarly be rather imprecise and in need of a lot of 
guessing and insider knowledge.

Also, some beginners might search for stuff titled "Extensible Markup 
Language", and might find books, or might find XML 1.1 (which has a 
higher number and so must be better) or in a few years might assume it 
references XML 3.7, or whatever.

Regards,   Martin.
Received on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 00:56:16 UTC

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