Pro Durusau

by Rick Jelliffe

Patrick Durusau has a few more items on his website. Always worth a read for anyone interested in getting more than the party lines. Here is some of his latest TOC:


2008-03-26 14:34:03
You know something? It's absolutely incredible how often Patrick Durusau seems to be getting linked to these days by certain people, and how his documents get linked to with seemingly lightning speed.........

Alas, all those documents do is simply regurgitate all the many questions brought up over time that just don't have any answers. The 6000 page myth thing is quite funny. It's funny in the first instance that somebody would be trying to split hairs by trying to reformat an entire specification document themselves. It's funny in the second instance that someone goes around and selectively and simply deletes large chunks of it, and then tells us that it isn't really 1780 pages long at all. Well, that's not the specification as-is, is it? It's also funny that the 452 pages he comes up with has to be multiplied by four for the spreadsheet ML, presentation ML and drawing ML .

Rick Jelliffe
2008-03-28 23:46:46
Segadunum: Yes it is incredible. It is called the Internet. It allows you to read something fast, often soon after it was read. There are things called web browsers that let you look at other people's websites too. It is so incredible, there must be a conspiracy! There are subscription services such as RSS that allow feeds. And there are things called blogs, which are largely based on reporting and commentating on other webpages; sometimes, incredibly enough, people read something quite soon after it is posted. This is due to something called "time", which it completely incredible.

And it is also amazing that the world is actually round. Did you know that? So when someone in one part of the world is finishing their day and posting things to the web, people in another part of the world still have a whole day ahead of them to read and think and blog. Microsoft has gone to far with this spherical world business: they must be stopped!

"Split hairs"? Well, I guess certainly it takes a kind of obsession with investigating things for yourself rather than swallowing what some full-time corporate PR shill who is just doing is job says. But that is indeed the kind of approach that is needed for doing standards work: a sense of proportion, a sense of fairness, a vision for the big picture, an ability to cooperate, and an ability to roll-up your sleeves and get with the small details.

Someone said "6000 pages is too many" and I said "That is an unsound metric: think about formatting, repetition and normativity". So what does Patrick do? He goes objective, and verifies it experimentally. Tough for sloganeers, I am sure, but not something that you can just dismiss the way you do. Do you always have to shoot the messenger?

(I also reformatted the spec globally, as part of my testing. It wasn't "funny", it is just what you have to do. There were many issues I kept out of, because they were not my bag: spreadsheets in particular. But publishing and standards-writing are areas I know a bit about, and you need to be armed with facts to get changes made to drafts.)