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From Mike Pogue <mpo...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [proposal] Better look and feel
Date Thu, 06 Jan 2000 16:54:40 GMT
> > So, we both already agree that we SHOULD converge.  Now, let's talk
> > about WHEN to converge.  What should be the criteria for converging?
> > I'd personally like to see more than just our couple of Apache
> > subprojects invent some styles (grammars), before we require everybody
> > to use the same grammar.  Let's get some customer feedback first, then
> > converge.
> Great points, really, show how much I have to learn about project
> management. I think I have to apologize for my shortsightness.

No apology necessary...  If you found my comments useful, great!  I
certainly value your comments and opinions as well (and I won't
apologize for letting them influence my thinking!)  :-) :-)

> Anyway, what happens if I need something to add to the current DTD
> without breaking exising compatibility? what do I do? 

I'd suggest you try it out in Cocoon's DTD, and then when the other
subprojects see how cool and compelling the new feature is, they'll add
it as well, of course!  

If they do not, then that's feedback on that feature, too.  (Negative
feedback can sometimes be more revealing than positive feedback -- why
DIDN'T somebody use the feature? What got in their way?  Is there
something else that would have been more compelling?)

If they are "upward compatible" changes that don't break anything, I
have no objection to trying them out in the main style for the xml
site.  Just remember that every single feature that is added can also be
just another thing that has to be learned by a new user.  Docbook is
*immensely*  complicated, even though I'm sure that *every single new
feature* seemed
like a Good Idea at the time.

I think Pier's idea of trying out some better table and image handling
is a good idea.  It can be done in an upward compatible way, so it
doesn't cause any massive rewrites or updates, and it fixes some
weaknesses in the grammar.  Let's give it a try, and get some customer
feedback on it!

> is it so bad to
> have a project that takes care of handling this "customer feedback"
> finding safe and unexpensive ways to merge them with what we already
> have?

I don't think it's big enough yet to make sense as a separate
subproject.  I'd suggest leaving it under Stylebook and Cocoon
subprojects for now.  People writing these styles (style skins,
whatever) should be encouraged to participate in the Cocoon discussion,
in particular, since they will eventually be users of Cocoon, too...

At some point, when there are many styles, it might make sense to have a
Style Repository, but even then it might make sense to keep it
associated with the tool that uses the Styles, namely Cocoon.  I think
we have to wait and see how many of these get created, and how the
authors (artists?) feel about that.


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