Translating W3C HTML5 for the rest of the community; a possible role for the Web Standards Project

One thing is for sure. There are a lot of smart passionate people that care and are involved in the advancement of HTML 5. The kicker is that there a lot more people who want to be involved but W3C technical specification-speak isn’t one of their native languages.

If you’re unfamiliar with what I mean by W3C technical specification-speak, just start reading any W3C technical specifications and you’ll quickly get an idea of what I mean. If you’re not familiar with the nuances of technical specifications, it can be daunting, even for someone who is a seasoned professional. I understand that it is necessary for technical specifications to be written the way they are but you have to cede that this barrier to entry for the community is a problem.

For a Web Developer, HTML is something that we interact with on a day to day basis. When you start talking about the future of the Web and the future of HTML 5, it’s something thats near and dear to our hearts. When we feel like we can’t participate because of the learning curve its saddening, easy to just not care any more, and shut yourself off from the discussion.

This makes it necessary to have people who are going to write good supplementary documentation, supporting material, blog entries, presentations, and much more. We need people who are going to do this for HTML 5. This will be necessary for the success of the specification.

I was excited to read this from Roger Johansson:

Looking forward I think my energy will be best spent helping to produce documents that are useful to and readable by people who create websites. By the looks of things the actual HTML 5 specification will be extremely difficult to read, and basically created for browser vendors only.

I thought Alejandro Moreno’s comment on that post interesting:

I am not experienced enough to join and participate, so I sure am glad you have decided to stick around the HTML5 WG.

Your “translation” efforts will be appreciated!

I have a feeling that this perspective is pretty common.

If the Web Standards Project (WaSP) is looking for a way to stay relevant to the needs of the community, this would be a place they could step in. WaSP could have a HTML 5 Task Force whose mission it is to help act as “translators”, communicators, and ambassadors to the community.

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