The WHATWG Blog

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Proposing features

by Ian Hickson in WHATWG

I'm happy to see the increased interest in HTML5 recently — especially with the amazing work Lachlan, Henri, and others are doing with this blog, the validator, feedback, and so forth.

Since the volume of feature requests is only going to increase in the near future, I thought I'd list some things that would make evaluating proposals easier. Here are some key things that any proposal should include:

Obviously, we want to keep the language as simple as possible. That means not everyone will get what they want. Having clear answers to the questions above will help all of us work out what is most important.

5 Responses to “Proposing features”

  1. Reminds me of the guidelines for submitting bug reports. :)

    Could the HTML5 team link to any proposals on the mailing list (or elsewhere) which were particularly helpful in the way they were written?

    Also, for people like me who don’t know “how to create graphs representing the data in the case of semantic proposals”, are there any HOWTOs or tutorials about this available which the HTML5 team could cite as recommended practise?

    Please remember that a lot of people making websites are not experienced application programmers but may still have good ideas!

  2. Lachlan Hunt says:

    Ben, we’re in the process of setting up The WHATWG Wiki for that.

  3. Neato. Will there be an announcement when the wiki is ready for people to start using it?

    * Wikis and mailing lists require people to know a lot of esoteric conventions in order to contribute.
    * In the case of a wiki, their contributions are likely to disappear in subsequent edits.
    * Mailing lists are quite scary and intimidating to regular people (like me), especially when the messages in them are mostly talking about really complex things using words in special technical senses.
    * Comments on this blog can only be to subjects started by WHAT WG members.

    Has there been any consideration of creating a WHAT WG web forum? That would provide a simpler and friendlier environment for non-elite folk, imho. Might make it easier for WHAT WG to gauge public opinion as well, since more people would likely take part in a forum than the other, scary ways. :)

    (A small thing, but how about making the comment form remember people’s details? That would make regular comments on things which get added here easier. A comment preview (not neccessarily “live”) would be helpful as well.)

  4. Lachlan Hunt says:

    Ben, you can start using the wiki immediately. Contributions shouldn’t just be removed from the wiki. Just post it to one of the talk pages and it will definitely stay.

    There hasn’t yet been any thought about creating a forum. If someone would be interested in running one, we can easily set one up. But until then, if you have any other topics to address, you can always e-mail one of us directly, write a blog post linking to whatwg.org and send a pingback, or just post an off-topic comment. If you contact me with some questions about a topic you’d like discussed, I can blog about it for you.

    Can you suggest any decent WordPress plugins that provide comment preview and cookies for remembering form fields?

  5. A quick Google search brings up Live Comment Preview, which seems pretty straightforward to set up. This lets people see how their message will look without reloading the page. I haven’t tried it out myself, although it looks like the plugin used on some other blogs.

    This blog remembered by details this time, so maybe I’d cleared my private data between visits last time. :-)

    Thanks for the responses!