Tour of beta.w3.org
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Hello. My name is Ian Jacobs. I am W3C's Head of Communications and it is my pleasure to take you on a short tour of the redesigned W3C Web site. Today is 19 March 2009 and we will announce the beta tomorrow. On this tour we will have a quick look at the following representative pages: the W3C home page which you see here and then six other pages related to standards. I'm working down sort of an organizational tree from more general to more specific. There are a lot of other pages as well, a few hundred. And we hope the organization and the new styles make it much easier to find your way than it has been in the past. First, our home page - our old home page as you may know looks like this and the new home page looks like this. There is still news in the front and center of the page which you can scroll through, through a little navigation back to first item, and you can see the archives of news going back to a number of years. But in addition, there will be more dynamic content on the right hand side, there will be recent posts from the W3C Questions and Answers blog, as well as talks and upcoming events where W3C speakers are presenting, for example. On the left hand side, you'll see access to information about W3C in other languages. Those pages aren't part of the beta, so they won't look like it but it's still useful to have that information easy to find on the home page. Then, the top and footer of the page are used consistently across the site. There is the standard sort of site footer with contacts, help and FAQ, and so forth. And the top page has these four main navigation menus: "Standards", "Participate", "Members", and "About W3C", as well as a search box and these three print logos. The "print" logos give you a "screen" view, a "print" view and "mobile" view, that looks a bit wide on this screen but in a mobile device, that will make the home page a lot more simple. Information about the Web site by the way is available here on the right hand side, so we will return to that at the end of the tour. The first page that we will dive into is the Standards home page. We've grouped W3C work into seven areas, which are listed in the middle of this page starting with "Web Design and Applications", and we'll look to that page in just a moment. The right hand side illustrates way we use this column throughout the site which is to list associated resources, frequently used resources - we call them "quick links" - and so for example, the top one here takes you to the list of all specifications and just to compare, the list of all specifications in the current site looks like this and the new page is presented a little more nicely. There are also some useful views, for example, you can show all of the current review opportunities, you can sort documents according to the editors, the title, and so forth. So, we have some new views available to make it easy to find what you're looking for, if you are for our specifications. The left hand side here illustrates how we use the left hand column throughout the site, which is for sibling navigation, so these pages are all underneath the "Standards" tree. You can go back to "Web Design and Applications", "Web Architecture", "Semantic Web", these are all siblings. Back up to the parent, which is also available through these breadcrumbs. Let's go on to "Web Design and Applications". This is a grouping as well intended to speak to Web designers and Web developers. We've broken it down into some familiar technologies areas, such as "HTML and CSS", "Scripting and AJAX", "Graphics", "Mobile Web", "Accessibility". We'll go down into those pages in just a moment, but at the bottom of the page, we've aggregated news from groups all working in these areas, these are aggregated blogs, we can see upcoming talks in these areas, upcoming events - there are other pages for events, and more calendars in the new site. But this is intended to sort of aggregate useful information related to Web design and applications, or similarly for Semantic Web, Web of services, and so on.  Let's go down to the next level page, this is a technology overview page for HTML and CSS, and this type of page gives you an overview of one or more technologies - closely related technologies, and links to useful resources. Again, we haven't fleshed out all of these yet, we'll be looking for your help but on the right hand site, you'll see links to tutorials, there are some logos available, there are validation tools. After this text which explains a little bit what these technologies are, some examples, there is information about recent press releases we've had on work in this area, which W3C groups are carrying out this work, and so on.  The main thing here is that we've filled out to a certain extent this page, but there are lots of other introductory pages on the site, and we need your help, so we'll be inviting contributions from you, and from W3C groups, and anyone who would like to contribute a few paragraphs of technologies they appreciate or they have experience with, we'll do our best to integrate them into the site. Let's go down to the next page, this is called a "status" page - this one is the HTML current status page. So we have two goals for the "status" pages: - the first is to quickly show what specifications to use, and which one are up and coming, or which ones you should NOT used. There is a table here at the top, and the first block shows these are standards, these are closely related standards which is why we put them together on this page; then coming up, are Candidate Recommendations, documents in Last Call, and then as we scroll down, we see that for example, HTML 3.2 has been superseded. But you may need to know a little bit more about how these specifications relates, such as which specifications superseded HTML 3.2, the answer is HTML 4, and then 4.01 and those relationships that are best described in words are, that's the second goal of the page, to provide that information down here. Now, we've sort of populated these pages, all of these pages, with the abstract of the specifications which is a reasonable starting point but it's our expectation to edit them down, so that in a page or two, you can quickly understand when you use a specification, how it relates to another one that's upcoming, and so on. These are the "current status" pages, and as we publish new specifications, as they mature, as we publish new ones, these pages will sort of evolve in part automatically, in part with new content that we will come from the community. Let's go down to one more level, which is a specification itself. The last of these technology-related pages is a reformatted W3C Recommendation. For this beta, we've reformatted all the W3C Recommendations, and given them new URIs, - we haven't touched the existing ones. We haven't done this for any Working Draft or Candidate Recommendations, and so on. But we have several goals for this reformatting: - eliminate noise upfront, - provide useful information at a glance, in this status table that appears at the top, - provide useful context on the right hand side, and move some of the useful but perhabs invasive status information down to the bottom. We've sought a compromise here in rewriting the specifications, we didn't want to stray too far from the familiar look and feel of the specifications, but we also wanted to give the sense that these are integrated into the site. This design represents a compromise. If you're interested in hiding the context, while you read the spec, you can the "print" mode for example. We have also made a policy decision: up to now, we've made it a point not to touch any documents once they've been published; we're still not going to touch any content of the documents, but when a specification is superseded or outdated by a new draft for example, we will update the previous draft in place. So these green checkmarks here, in the status table, will be updated as the specification is no longer the latest draft, or is rescinded for example. You'll always be able to find more information about the relationship of this specification to other ones, on the status pages. You can get back to the HTML status page from there, for example. We've also put this specification into another group of specifications about RDFa, so how it relates to those specifications is described on a second status page. There is another link here on the right hand side of interest: we now have available the full publication history of every document, so you can follow that and you'll see when all of the different drafts were published. In fact, let me go back there because that's a very simple interface for finding out the most recent draft, that's the one at the top.  That's the tour! Let's go back to the home page. As I said, you can learn more about the site redesign linked from the home page, thank you for taking the time to take the tour, have a look around, let us know what you think, and send us your feedback - how to send feedback is available here. We look forward to hearing from you, and have fun! Thank you!
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