TPAC/2011/W3C Publications Ecosystem

From W3C Wiki

Style & Boilerplate

There is too much boilerplate that gets in the way of reading specs, and the style could be fixed to make some important items (status, feedback) more important. A group of CSS hackers have an action item to propose a new design.

An iconography that makes spec statuses comprehensible to the unintiated would be useful. Linking it to easily parseable definitions of the various statuses would help.

Improving Pubrules

The people present at the meeting were happy with pubrules, but then all have tools that they use to generate specs that work with it so it might not be representative of all editors. A new version of pubrules will be needed for the new spec template. A new implementation could help.

Great news everybody! HTML5 should become usable in pubrules "in the next two weeks".

Rich UI in Specs

The idea behind having a richer UI is to support things like linking to test suites and seeing how many pass, making it possible to comment on the spec directly from the spec, showing sections for specific reader populations only, etc. It would be useful for someone to hack something in this area.


One thing that came out of the tooling discussion is that it would be useful to have some form of common HTML format for writing specs that all tools could generate and have things that they do in common (e.g. apply style, add references, etc.) be generated at publication from that common format.

There were discussions about using wikis to output specs (possibly to this common format). We also spoke about a WYSIWYG ReSpec.

Using GitHub to develop specs was briefly mentioned but not discussed at length (though there is interest from some people).

We also looked at sharing biblio DBs, with [1] as one possible example. Fixing the TR metadata would also be good.

There is never enough funding for tooling. If you like the W3C tools and you want to help them move forward, consider sponsoring their development with W3C (as has been done at times).

Rich Semantics

Adding more semantics to spec markup, without making it harder for editors, would enable a number of useful things. Rather than ratholing about RDFa vs microdata we suggest


The group agreed that it would be good if W3C had some form of Managing Editor. W3C is a publishing company. The ME would be the go-to entity for editors who have questions, issues, etc. and would help ensure good spec writing.

The discussion will continue on the spec-prod list.

Minutes: minutes