Clearer W3C Specs (was Re: XML Information Set is seeding impenetrable language; reconsider?)

Michael Champion Mike.Champion at
Fri Jan 21 20:37:17 GMT 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nils Klarlund" <klarlund at>
To: <xml-dev at>
Cc: "klarlund" <klarlund at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 12:22 PM
Subject: XML Information Set is seeding impenetrable language; reconsider?

> A so-called "last call" working draft has been issued by the W3C for XML
> information set.

> Although the document is cleanly written, it introduces some very
> language,
> which will almost guarantee that future XML specifications will become
> unnecessarily hard to read (just look at the current XML Schema document,
> part 1).
> Would it not be in the interest of the XML community to encourage the
> authors use
> language that mortals understand (nodes, trees, etc)? I don't believe the
> Information Set in its current formulation should be accepted.  Am I alone
> in this belief

The need for better writing in W3C specs was discussed at a recent W3C WG
meeting I attended.  That particular group generally agreed that the specs
need to be written more clearly, and the plan (I don't know if anything came
of it) was to lobby our W3C Advisory Committee representatives to push the
W3C to devote more of its admittedly scarce resources to hiring staff
technical writers, or getting members to contribute the time of technical
writers as well as XML specialists to the activities of the working groups
they participate on.

This posting (and a diatribe against the Schema draft that I saw today)
reminded me to bring this issue to my AC Rep's attention. Can anyone suggest
other concrete proposals for improving the situation?

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