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Re: Minutes not usable

From: <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 09:50 +0100
Message-Id: <200606301350.k5UDoFF1009817@ns1.hicom.net>
Cc: unagi69@concentric.net
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, David MacDonald <befree@magma.ca>

aloha, david - i didn't mean my emessage to be a personal attack on you or any other individual, just stating an opinion based upon personal experiences as a notetaker...

yes, documenting the resolutions of a meeting is as important as documenting the contextual discussion, but any reference to ambiguous minute text - such as the reference to an issue by number alone or phrases such as quote as amended quote - MUST be expanded post-notetaking to provide context and comprehensibility to ALL members of the working group; my experience collaborating with PF (protocols & formats) on XAG (XML Accessibility Guidelines) as designated minute taker a few years ago taught me that the easiest way to accelerate the process of review and consensus is to annotate and expand any ambiguities contained in the raw notes.

it is not just a matter of recording resolutions, suggestions, action items, and the like - as a cornerstone of WAI's work and measure of its progress, WAI minutes MUST be made as "clear and simple" as possible, and for me, simply noting a resolution of a numbered issue does NOT, nor SHOULD it, suffice.

if getting the raw minutes out as quickly as possible is your primary concern, i laud you, but advise you to send the raw minutes out precisely as that -- raw, unannotated minutes - which are then followed up by an annotated, expanded, and accessible document, especially in light of the purpose of WCAG - to provide guidance in the production of the most accessible content possible.  that mandate slash mantra should extend not only to formal notes and drafts, but to ALL of the output of WAI working groups.  if consensus is reached in a teleconference, then that consensus MUST be contextualized - in this case, by expanding the issue number, at the very least, into human comprehensible text, such as the title or synopsis of the issue resolved slash under discussion is discussed in a forum in which not all working group members are able to directly participate, and who rely upon the minutes to ascertain the progress of the working group's work, especially as concerns consensus, !
 dissension, and proposed resolution.

ambiguous references have NO place in the finalized minutes - we MUST eat our own dog food as pertains to web content in discussing web accessibility otherwise, our own work runs the risk of becoming hypocritical -- the product of a group which insists that web content providers do as we say, not as we do...

ABSURDITY, n.  A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's 
own opinion.                -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devils' Dictionary_
               Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
     Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html

David MacDonald wrote:
> I was the minute taker and I was writing exactly what the group conscience
> decided upon and what was dictated to me. If I remember correctly, we used
> to take long notes, and they were confusing because people felt they had to
> sift through too much information to get to the chase.  Perhaps its gone too
> far the other way.
> I don't have strong feelings one way or the other. I was just as happy when
> I was actually writing all the dialogue in the minutes. 
> However, in a slight defense of the quick notes, currently there are
> hundreds of comments. At the rate 15 comments a week it will be 12 months to
> just clear comments alone. 
> Any help is welcome.
> Cheers
> David MacDonald

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Received on Friday, 30 June 2006 13:51:24 UTC

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