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- From: David Megginson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: "XML-Dev Mailing list" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 09:12:53 -0400 (EDT)
Rick Jelliffe writes:
> There are four approaches:
> * "that is the way of the word": it cannot be helped;
> * positive discrimination, e.g. subsidies;
> * reduce the reliance on face-to-face meetings;
> * universal enfranchisement.
The third is by far the best solution. Face-to-face meetings are
generally more useful for working out political problems than they are
for technical problems, precisely they tend to make it even easier for
a minority of fast-thinkers and loud talkers (like me) to dominate the
discussion: often the best ideas come from quiet, thoughtful people
who need to mull over a new idea for a couple of hours (or days)
before stating an opinion.
Business and technical people used to need a lot of face-to-face
contact, but there is a new generation (the under 45's) that's very
comfortable with e-mail and telecommuting, and e-mail is a great
equalizer -- you can pick up mail for a whole group of people just by
setting up an old 286 to dial a local ISP once a day (of course, many
people in the world don't have electricity or phone, much less an old
286, but at least the circle is a little wider).
As a case in point, SAX 1.0 was designed and implemented on XML-Dev in
a few weeks without a single F2F meeting.
> Of course, there are other big blocks, notably the reliance on text
> rather than diagrams in W3C specifications, and indeed the fact that
> English is the only language.
The reliance on text is important for accessibility -- both
visually-impaired people can have text read to them by software, while
hearing-impaired people can read it; diagrams don't work as nicely.
The reliance on English is more of a problem.
All the best,
David Megginson firstname.lastname@example.org
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