Will “Specifiction” Improve the Standards Process?

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Those of you who are interested in following how various web development specifications are progressing might want to check out a new project called Specifiction.

The aim of the site is to help encourage open discourse on the evolution of web standards, without all the trouble involved in doing so. To quote their welcome message:

…contributing to standards remains hard. You have to find the specification (and get the right one amongst many different documents), find the group that is in charge of it, look through mailing list archives to see if your feedback has been sent before, post to a mailing list, etc.

I don’t know if this is the perfect solution to the very real problem of how discussions on standards take place (if you haven’t noticed, they’re still using 1998-style mailing lists that most of us have no interest in). But I think this new project is a step in the right direction.

In that same welcome document I just quoted, someone asked what kinds of topics should be focused on in the various threads. The answer given was:

Any and all discussions related to Web standards. Don’t worry about working groups or SDOs, just about the tech you need in the browser.

And in case you’re wondering: No, I didn’t mistype the name of the project; it is indeed called “Specifiction” (no “a”). It seems odd to combine the words “spec” and “fiction” in this context, but apparently the name comes from the fact that the word “specification” is often misspelled in this way. Or maybe it’s a silent jab at XHTML 2.0? :)

Whatever the case, check it out. It might end up as a big turning point in how the standards process takes place.

Louis LazarisLouis Lazaris
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Louis is a front-end developer, writer, and author who has been involved in the web dev industry since 2000. He blogs at Impressive Webs and curates Web Tools Weekly, a newsletter for front-end developers with a focus on tools.

specificationsWeb Standards
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