Re: Applying design to W3C specs

On 19 May 2010, at 7:14 AM, Anthony Kolber wrote:

>> Hi Ben,
>> On May 17, 2010, at 13:57 , Ben Schwarz wrote:
>> > I recently gave a presentation here in Melbourne titled "Take  
>> back the web" ( 
>> web)
>> > It discusses (there are notes on the presentation) that the W3C  
>> needs the presence of professional designers and further real world  
>> use cases..
>> That's certainly very true. That being said, it's not something  
>> that W3C (whether by that you mean the actual organisation or the  
>> community of people who contribute to W3C-approved standards) can  
>> do much about on its own. I'd actually like to reverse your claim:  
>> professional designers need to show up and make themselves heard as  
>> part of the W3C community. Standards are made by those who show up.
>> > Taking on this challenge personally, I teamed up with my business  
>> partner to focus on applying some typography to the existing W3C  
>> specifications.
>> > We offered it as a userscript and wrote about it on my blog.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > I'd really like to see a W3C response from my recent commentary  
>> and would like to open up for some discussion in this area..
>> I'm not sure what you mean by "a W3C response". I don't speak for  
>> W3C but I'm responding anyway because improving the production of  
>> W3C specifications has been a topic of interest of mine for a while.
> I think we were most interested in hearing what people involved with  
> the W3C's thoughts were on what we've done.

Hi Anthony and Ben,

Thanks for the work on the style sheets around the specifications. I  
recently tried to redesign the specification styles (with some other  
usability improvements) and the response was quite negative from the  
editors themselves. Thus, before considering taking up a similar  
project, I'd like to hear from the editors themselves.

Meanwhile, we are also considering some ideas for improving the  
usability of the specifications more broadly, for example, by creating  
versions that may be easily annotated (e.g., like the PHP  
documentation). Perhaps one thing to do would be to leave the current  
styles as is, and adopt new styles for the "live, annotated versions."

I'll keep watching this thread.

  _ Ian

> So, I think this counts.
>>  But before we jump into a discussion of style, I think that we  
>> should take a step back and first come up with a set of typographic  
>> conventions to be used by all (new) specifications, which could  
>> then be styled. Doug took a stab at listing some of these (the  
>> document is known to be missing conventions for APIs, but that can  
>> be looked at later). I'd be interested in knowing what your opinion  
>> is, and if you have any suggestion: 
>>  Note that if a redesign happens, it probably won't apply  
>> retroactively to documents already published in /TR/ as it would be  
>> likely to break them. When the W3C website was redesigned last  
>> year, a redesign of the specification style was also made (it  
>> eventually proved to have too many issues and was pulled, though I  
>> believe interest remains). Retroactively applying it to published  
>> documents was, erm, unpopular.
> I think a new stylesheet is all that is needed here.
> The majority of the specs are incredibly well-formatted html (even  
> the much older ones) and the amount we could achieve with a minimal  
> overwrite stylesheet was enormous. I think Doug's conventions would  
> definitely be a step in the right direction, but a consistently and  
> considered stylesheet could make a big difference even with the  
> existing specs.
>>  Finally, I don't know if public-html is the right place for this  
>> discussion (though I don't mind either way, I leave that up to the  
>> chairs). If it keeps going, it might be better fit for spec-prod ( 
>> ). It's fully public; it hasn't seen much traffic but nothing says  
>> it can't have more going forward.
> I have CC'd it into spec-prod as well.
>>  Thanks for contributing!
> Thanks for the feedback!
>>  -- Robin Berjon -
>  Anthony Kolber

Ian Jacobs (
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447

Received on Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:20:20 UTC