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RE: Web Philosophy
- From: Gavin Thomas Nicol <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: email@example.com
- Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 19:01:21 -0500
> > 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.
Perhaps, but the egalitarian POV is mistaken. Some people contribute
a lot, others don't. The less of the latter, the better for the standard.
As you note, some people on WG's aren't experts... and there is a
significant cost associated with that.
My point is that allowing unqualified people to participate
willy-nilly at all levels is *at least* as bad as keeping the
group closed entirely. That's just chaos.
> 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?
The lists often provide very good input to the working groups, and
helps to temper decisions. In some cases, public input *has* changed
the direction of a WG.
> 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
> *are* worthwhile.
Right. My point is that if these people care enough, the opportunity
lies there, waiting for them to take advantage of it. You can't expect
a group of people, under intense technical pressure, and under intense
deadline pressure, to go out seeking the undiscovered experts. Every
single individual that I have seen make a difference has been passionate,
and has worked hard, thereby getting noticed.
It's easy being an armchair academic. It's *hard* making a difference,
as Simon, someone that *has* made a difference, pointed out.
> > 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've not said that only WG members are capable of making decisions.
My point is this:
Most people that have a significant impact on standards do so through
expertise, hard work, and perseverence. Becoming a W3C WG member isn't
a thing people do/should do lightly, even for member organizations,
and isn't required to have influence.
If you don't have expertise, time, and persistence, don't be surprised
if you don't have much impact.... and please, don't complain about it.
Conversely, if you have expertise, time, and persistence, you will
have an impact even if you are not an employee of a member organization.