[uf-new] The Process (was: hAudio case study)

Brian Suda brian.suda at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 03:33:12 PDT 2007

On 9/12/07, Frances Berriman <fberriman at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yeah - that frustration is understandable, but I don't think it's easy
> to say at the start of a project how much (# wise) is enough.
> The general idea is just to get "as many as you can" but that's almost
> like saying "how long is a piece of string", I agree.
> We'll have to give this one some more thought.  Does anyone else have
> good ideas about how to iron this out?

--- it is NEVER a good idea to use number quotas. All they do is mask
potential shortcomings. If you say that you need 10 examples, they
only the first 10 will ever be looked at. If you say you need 50, but
only find 45, then 5 additional will be created "in your favour"
purely to meet the quota. If you set it at 500 then it is an
unachievable goal.

Edward Deming set-out 14 points.

#11. Eliminate numerical goals, numerical quotas, and management by
objectives. Substitute leadership.

At the end of the day, we should avoid "voting" on issues and examples
purely by the numbers and base it more on experience, leadership and
good reasoning, NOT because 25 of my 27 examples show this... because
someone else can go out and (create or document) 50 more to counter
the previously gathered examples.

IMHO numeric quotas (much like those voting polls where you can vote
as many times as you want) do not reflect the truth, but instead a
meter to which people do as little work as possible to achieve the
goal and then say "but i did what you told me", even though it might
be crap.

Quantity does not equate quality!

The other thing that might help the example gathering is if more
people were involved. If one person goes out and finds 200 examples,
but no one else is helping, then is there really a reason to keep
pushing the process? Microformats work best when there is an "itch to
scratch", not a personal issue to solve. Many formats have collected
many, many examples, but there is just no interest at the current time
to move it forward. Just because things can be checked on the process
list doesn´t mean it should. This is the current state of the
media-info, people did some homework, and saw there wasn´t community
interest. This is the perfect opportunity to take a step back an use
POSH for awhile, test it and report back with results. No need to
hammer on the process.

> It's rigorous, but yeah, I agree... any effort to make it less
> meat-grinder like and more "super fun adventure" is a good thing.  But
> at the same time, it's been that harsh to prevent frivolous formats
> being created.

--- this is also why POSh has been pushed more. We have also been
adding things to the process, like "first make sure you site is POSH,
it validates and uses existing microformats". Then and ONLY then
should more people be allowed to propose new formats. This would also
FORCE an understanding of some of the more basic things before a
proposal and frustration of "not understanding".


brian suda

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