[EM] <process> Collective ordering of SW standards

Rob Lanphier robla at eskimo.com
Thu Mar 7 07:55:26 PST 1996

On Wed, 6 Mar 1996, Steve Eppley wrote:
> Rob Lanphier wrote:
> >My brain isn't disciplined enough to deal with coming up with brackets 
> >and symbols and little squirrelly things just to get a subject line.  
> I didn't propose putting those things in the subject line.  See my
> example message on 3/5/96 on Hitler-Stalin-Middle.  Each argument in
> the message is categorized with the keyphrase syntax located just
> beneath the argument.  Sticking them in the subject or at the top of 
> the body will be less useful than placing them with the argument.

I understand it better now that I see it.  However, I think we would be 
far better off following the this procedure:

*  The FAQ maintainer posts an initial draft
*  People submit *specific* changes to that draft to the FAQ (i.e. 
   changes that can be cut and pasted into the draft, not general "well, 
   you should probably say something about ____")

Everyone who wants to contribute is responsible for making sure their 
arguments get into the FAQ.  *Nobody* is going to want to be the FAQ 
maintainer if they are responsible for sifting through every piece of 
email everyone else wrote.  It'll suck up way too much time of the FAQ 

> >Please, let's not get bogged down with administrivia.
> If you make your ideas hard to find when we're in the process of 
> assembling the report from messages, then why write them?

To flesh out ideas.  Discussion for discussion's sake.  A FAQ is also 
good, but I don't want to make this list more work than it's worth.  None 
of us are getting paid here.

We need something concrete like a first draft of the FAQ.  I submitted the
CVD FAQ as an example, but in retrospect I think we are better off keeping
that as a basic primer.  It sounds like you have a first draft or outline
or something. *Please* post that, and let us submit our changes to the
list.  If no one on the list objects to the changes, then the FAQ
maintainer should approve them by sticking them in.

Steve, do you want to be the FAQ maintainer?  If we limit the scope of 
the job, I think it will be managable.  Let me reiterate the rules for 
the rest of us:
*  Only specific FAQ changes will receive serious consideration.
*  Changes must be submitted to the list

If this effort peters out in a week, we'll still have a draft.  That's 
better than having a list of keywords.

If we keep a hierarchical, numbered FAQ structure, we can make have a way 
of notating context for our changes.

We can also have rotating FAQ maintainer.  I'm all for that. 

> Another principle: the chore of converting messages to readable 
> report needs to be as simple as possible, to increase the likelihood 
> that it will get done.

I think the only way of increasing the likelihood that a report will get 
done is doing a report.

> I'll want us to test it by writing up one section of the report at
> the earliest opportunity.

Please, just go for it.  If it is unfairly biased toward Steve Eppley's 
point of view, we'll let you know :)

> The big question is whether you and others will try to use the
> common keyphrases in your messages.  No one will maintain the
> keyphrase faq if it isn't useful.

I doubt I will, to be honest.

> Do you know of a way to take advantage of other structure, besides
> keywords?

Here's the docs for Hypermail:

I skimmed them and couldn't find anything. YMMV

Rob Lanphier
robla at eskimo.com

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