"Clean Specs"

Avi Rappoport avirr at LanMinds.Com
Mon Feb 8 16:57:46 GMT 1999

Perhaps in this modern world, some of the rather large fees charged 
by W3C for membership could go towards hiring some technical writers 
to address this issue.  IMNSHO, the amount of time that we've all 
spent thrashing about with namespaces is an example of intelligence, 
time and energy that could have been avoided by a standard that 
addressed some of the issues better.

If standards are the way we'll do business (and I'm all for that!) 
then why not invest in the best possible standards up front?  Just 
because IETF and other traditions made do without, doesn't mean that 
we should be penny wise and pound foolish now.  Clarity is a net gain 
for W3C members, and for the larger community, as the cost of 
incompatible implementations is significant.


At 5:40 PM -0600 2/7/99, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:
> The XML WG was an all-volunteer project, as are most standards efforts.
> Those of us who participated did so primarily as a personal commitment, not
> as something our employers (those of us who have them) pay us to do.
> Standards development is not a commercial process--there is no budget from
> which technical writers might be hired.  The W3C only administers, it does
> not fund. Same for ISO. Some national bodies do fund some standards
> development (BSI, the British Standards Institute), but that funding will
> tend to be used to support the technologists developing the standard and
> not writers crafting the words.
> So while it's true that most, if not all, specifications could benefit from
> professional writers, it usually isn't an option for standards developers.

Avi Rappoport, Search Tools Maven: <mailto:avirr at lanminds.com>
Guide to Site Indexing and Local Search Engines: <http://www.searchtools.com>

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