W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2012

Re: Forums

From: Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 22:36:43 +0000
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <882B926A-6D68-47E3-BB89-1924D7736CD0@gmail.com>
To: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>

It wasn't me saying "you're wrong" it was me saying exactly what I said: post numbers do not directly correlate to an increase in participation by new members. Though I agree that it's quite likely there's a correlation, the numbers cited do not prove that. And as I say, it was a mistake on my part to assume activity here had dropped, for which I apologise.

We both agree we need more people though, because there's simply more work to do. Where we are differing is in how we believe we can attract new people *who will contribute*. I contest that the mailing list *is* a put-off factor. There are many designers out there who simply will not learn "back-end" stuff and likewise will not "faff around" with antiquated and unfamiliar communication set-ups when more familiar and user friendly alternatives are in common usage. And yes, you can say that this acts as a natural filter to get rid of people who don't put in an engineering type input. But, we don't just want engineers and people au-fait with kernels, protocols, and sysadmin tasks. The W3C is full of those people, by all appearances. What it lacks is designers. CSS is used by designers. We need the input of people who use CSS day to day to earn a living. People with design chops. People who know to what purposes the technology needs to be put in order to achieve design goals. Those are the people CSS is built for. Those are the people to provide use cases, goals, and report problems with existing spec.

Those people, are the people I believe are likely to be put off by the list aspect. Just look at the likes of Andy Clarke - renowned designer and very into CSS nuances and application - but who has famously throws his hands in the air the moment anything Terminal related appears, no matter how simple. He's not alone, and yet someone like that would have valuable input here. The people that do design are less likely to be the people who grok having to set up mail clients to expose mail headers that so many here seem to think is obvious. It's not obvious.

With all of that said, the linked forum view from earlier in the thread answers a LOT of those issues and I would love to see that pushed as a main channel of "first contact" to the outside world as opposed to the existing archive. That, sprinkled with a decent tutorial on how to get involved and how to set up common mail clients to work with the list would go a very very long way in solving what is in essence a usability issue with www-style.

And I agree that time and will is the most important thing people can bring. But to get that people have to buy in to what goes on here. To buy in people have to see what we do. People don't. Forums won't solve all these issues, of course not, but something like that forum-esque UI over the top of the list will make a damned good first impression on newbies compared with what we've got.
Received on Saturday, 7 January 2012 22:37:13 UTC

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