[uf-discuss] human and author friendliness

Karl Dubost karl at w3.org
Wed Nov 9 11:18:19 PST 2005


thanks for this clarification which is more than welcome. I agree  
with the goals, I disagree with the causes ;) but it's not important  
as long as everything is moving forward.

And I'll have to double check when I'm writing my English. Each time  
I read the answers of people on what I have written, the  
understanding of my prose sounds so formal. So I guess ;) that I have  
to improve the casual tone of my English ;)

Le 05-11-09 à 12:32, Tantek Çelik a écrit :
> As a software developer who has written support for standards, and  
> having
> talked with numerous other such developers, I can tell you from  
> experience,
> that the simpler the format is, and the more author friendly that  
> the format
> is, as long as it is a "format" (i.e. not just natural language),  
> it is
> easier to:
>  * implement
>  * write test cases for
>  * test
> This is a VERY important point.

Yes I completely agree with this. It's why also libraries are often  
important.  The funny thing is that I'm one of the person who likes  
to author by hands in HTML to see the source code, or in the ol' time  
when I was using word: the outline mode. But I'm just a weirdo :p

> Yes of course the tools are what matter for 99% of people authoring  
> the
> content.

Yep, my mother and my father have still not author any single HTML  
document, though they use Word or similar applications every day. And  
they may use a form to send text. My grand parents never touched a  

> But, again, the more author-friendly you make the format, the more  
> folks
> will be able to write tools (or do so in less time) to support the  
> format,
> more quickly.

Agreed again.

>   I would posit that there are more HTML pages in the world
> than Word documents.

This I'm definitely not sure and I guess that's impossible to prove.  
Every companies, research center, universities I have been still rely  
heavily on Office (Open or not). The Web is not a way to work, it's a  
way to send information or to promote stuff. I think we have to be  
careful because we (geeks, Web fashionistas) live in our own cave  
with our own shadows.

>  make it easier to author content =>
>  makes it easier to develop tools to author that content =>
>  more tools sooner to author that content

yes :)

> This is why sites like Laughing Squid, Upcoming.org, and EVDB took  
> *an hour
> or less* to add hCalendar support to their systems, it was just a  
> matter of
> adding a few more "class" attributes, and maybe a few <span>s and  
> <abbr>s to
> their *existing content*.

Not existing content, there are not static pages, but data in  
databases, not very much accessible to the eye. Existing templates in  
their systems. :) We tend to forget that. Behing the scene of a web  
site of this type. There is a huge engineering : Templates, scripting  
languages, libraries in C or ruby, etc.
This is all about tools which are making the job.

I deeply agree that the simplicity rule for editing a template is a  

Thanks again, Tantek.

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***

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