[Members] XSF membership: what does it mean?

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Wed Nov 5 12:46:28 CST 2008

Dave Cridland wrote:
> On Wed Nov  5 15:57:12 2008, Jonathan Schleifer wrote:
>> About the reviewing stuff, I think it should be split up into several 
>> work groups
> This can be useful for "expert review". But we also need "general
> review", and "proof-reading". Sometimes the latter two pick up errors
> we'd otherwise miss.

We've always done this in an informal way -- I know who to poke for
reviews of our work on Jingle or pubsub or whatever.

But I don't think that instituting formal working groups will help us
here. And it will just give us more process and slow down our work.

>> (Don't get  me wrong, I'm not saying that the Council doesn't know
>> what it's  doing,
> Okay, then - I will.
> The Council's there to provide an objective overview of the big picture.
> We cannot and do not have an intricate knowledge of audio codecs, or GPS
> characteristics, or whatever else might be needed. So we don't always
> know what we're doing. This is where expert review comes in.

Right. So perhaps we need to identify experts in our community (or
outside our community, as I have done before with Jingle and security)
and specifically ask them to review our work.

> Also, we're only human, and cannot spot every error, and we're sometimes
> so far "into" these specifications we fail to see how much knowledge is
> assumed - this is entirely the opposite of being an expert, and is where
> general review comes in.

This is a big problem for me -- I get too close to all the specs and
need people to read them.

> Finally, we're not copy editors by trade, and while we've only one
> non-native English speaker - and Ralph's English is perfect anyway -
> this means we're prone to, perhaps, not noticing confusing uses of
> English. So simple proof-reading is very useful, making sure that our
> specifications remain clear and useful.

Agreed. I try to write in a clear, easily-understood way, but I don't
always succeed.

> This isn't limited to specifications which are under active scrutiny,
> too - we've a lot of specs, some of them largely untouched for years,
> and updating or polishing those is a mammoth task.

Yes. And it becomes more mammoth all the time as the XMPP stack gets
bigger. I find that I am spending more time in maintenance mode and less
time working on new stuff. Not that that's bad, necessarily -- it slows
down the flow of new specs (at least the ones I work on) and gives
coders a chance to catch up. :)


Peter Saint-Andre

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