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   Re: Improved writing -- who's going to pay for it?

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: Rick JELLIFFE <ricko@geotempo.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 08:12:31 -0400

At 05:04 PM 10/11/00 +0800, Rick JELLIFFE wrote:
>I am not saying "put up or shut up"; but there is something practical
>you can do: when you find a paragraph that is bad, draft an improvement
>and send it to the xml schema comments mailing list.  It won't make it
>in time for the CR draft now, but I am sure the editors will be
>delighted to have suggestions. The editors are not trying to create
>incomprehensible specs: to the contrary they are trying very hard to
>integrate the progressive refinements of XML Schemas by the XML Schema
>Working Group.

It's a nice dream to have readers submitting cleanly edited paragraphs, but
I'd suggest that in cases like this it is _only_ a dream.

Readers are invited to submit comments on specs, but readers are not
invited to participate in the development of specs as participants.  I'd
suggest that this barrier doesn't exactly encourage readers to take on copy
editing W3C specs as a gift to an organization that isn't exactly inclusive.

In short, if W3C specs are going to become clearer, and W3C process and
membership rules are going to remain as they are, the W3C itself is going
to have to make the investment in clarity, not the public.  

It's not like they're a shoestring organization that doesn't collect dues -
and since those very dues keep out a lot of potential technical writing
help, I'd suggest they own up to the problem.

I spend more than enough time cleaning up W3C-created confusion as it is,

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books


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