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Subject: Re: [chairs] Practical considerations and impacts of mandated editing formats /tools

Hi David,

  Actually, I agree. As much as *I* (being a duly authorized sgmlgeek and xmlgeek) would love to see all of our TCs author/edit their documents in a structured markup language, I don't think that's likely to happen. The organizations that do require it have a much larger support staff that I imagine gets involved fairly often to help out. On the flip side, we still do need to do a fair amount of hand-holding with TCs who are using OpenOffice or Microsoft Word as their editor of choice. Using styles, creating cross-references and managing hypertext links is a step or two or three beyond your basic word processing skills - the hypertext issue alone is responsible for a large percentage of specs being returned to TCs before they can be processed. 

I'm more than happy for those on the list to continue talking about this, or as Patrick Durusau has suggested, to start a different thread on the subject of what other *content* should we require our specifications to have, but I'd like to get back to my original question if at all possible:

What can Mary and Kim do to make your lives as TC Chairs easier?



Mary P McRae
Director, Standards Development
Technical Committee Administrator
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information society
twitter: @fiberartisan  #oasisopen
phone: 1.603.232.9090

Standards are like parachutes: they work best when they're open.

On Apr 22, 2010, at 5:10 PM, David RR Webber (XML) wrote:

My experience with this in the past is that this imposes an unacceptable barrier to the volunteers who do the hard work of actually editing and completing the specifications.

Once you start needing to install add-ins and scripts and all kinds of non-default pieces into editing tools things rapidly get out of control.  What one person sees in their environment is not what someone else has.

I always hear "well it works wonderfully for our TC" - but then those same people are not the ones responsible for fixing your PC and editor and documents and providing support to your deadlines.   Or working with a TC member who is likewise being challenged sending in edits.  Training is another issue.

I'd strongly prefer to not open this whole can of worms - and allow TCs to continue tp decide - as now - what tools they are most comfortable with using for developing their specifications.  If something is suggested and provided to assist - that's fine - but that's not the same as mandating something.


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