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Re: Web Philosophy
- From: Ronald Bourret <email@example.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:50:29 -0800
Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> Ronald Bourret says:
> > (a) are well enough known to get invited,
> > (b) have enough time to contribute at the level of a WG member,
> > (c) have enough money to attend (flight, hotel, etc.) the WG meetings.
> > (a) cuts out most of the world and (b) and (c) cut out most of the
> > remaining people.
> If you don't qualify for (a) then frankly, you probably wouldn't
> be much use to a WG anyway.
Really? That's a pretty arrogant statement. Why does the W3C even bother
with public mailing lists, since many (most?) of the people who
contribute to them aren't invited experts, nor will they ever be? And
I'm certainly convinced that everybody who is on a WG would be an
invited expert if they weren't an employee of a member corporation.
Besides, my point was not whether you had enough expertise, but whether
that expertise was known to the WG. Given the amount of overlap between
XML and other fields, as well as the number of people who are extremely
good at what they do but don't spend time writing papers or making
presentations at conferences, it seems quite reasonable that there are
plenty of potential, unknown invited experts out there whose comments
> If you don't have time to dedicate (point (b)) you are also going
> to end up wasting other peoples time, and be useless in a WG.
Definitely time to close the W3C mailing lists then. It's clear that
there are no bugs in any specs that can't/won't be caught by the WG and
no useful ideas that originate outside the WG.
I apologize for being so cranky here. I usually stay out of the "W3C
is/is not open enough" debates because I can appreciate both sides of
the coin only too well.
I think what a lot of people (myself included) would like to be is
low-level contributors. As you point out, a lot of the ideas that these
people come up with will be ones that the WG has already considered.
This costs the WG a lot of time and effort. However, there are two good
reasons to do make these people welcome:
1) There are enough pearls in chaff that sorting through the chaff is
always a worthwhile exercise. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I get a lot of
my ideas from people who only make one or two comments about my product
and then go away. I also sort through a *lot* of chaff.
2) The people who do make comments are likely to be early implementers
of the spec being developed by the WG. The WG therefore needs their
feedback and has a vested interest in keeping them happy.
Keeping these people happy means keeping them informed in a timely
manner. As Ann Navarro points out, this is virtually impossible to do. I
suspect that the more-openess people believe that opening the process
more will solve this problem, while the what-we've-got-is-okay people
believe that opening the process more will prove a logistical nightmare.
Both sides are correct, which is why I usually stay out of the debate.
> Finally, point (c), given suitable levels of (a) and (b) is rarely
> a problem... people will work around logistic issues if you have
> proven valuable enough.
I wasn't aware of this.