I'm a lurker on the list, but primarily because the list, so far, has seemed
like a place where people come for help solving specific, remedial problems
with long-standing (in internet-time) solutions well-documented on the
internet and in books.

On 8/5/08 11:10 AM, "Rick Faircloth" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> And I would like to know what a list on any subject is for if not for helping
> people understand the most basic principles and application of a give
> practice.
> A list on any topic must embrace all level of participants, beginners and
> advanced, alike.

If we think of the list as a classroom, a teaching environment, then it's
standard practice to have separate beginning, advanced, etc. classes. At the
university level, for example (in the US), classes at the 100 level tackle
different issues than classes at the 200, 300 and 400 level.

A list on a topic isn't required to embrace all levels of expertise. I've
participated in many mailings lists where some requests for basic help were
considered off-topic. Requests for help when answers can be found by via
searches or reading books were often seen as inappropriate.

I'd advocate (at the risk of sounding snobby), as some have suggested, for
different lists--one to accommodate beginners and another to accommodate
other developers interested, not in help with standards, but in the
standards themselves.

> Anyone who thinks a list about web standards should not first have as its
> mission
> to teach and clarify the basics of the tools of standardization, such as CSS,
> is
> mistaken.  Unless expressly stated, a list must cater to the lowest common
> denominator of its participants, not the highest.  By doing so, those on the
> bottom
> are lifted up, instead of always being pushed down and kept in the dark.

To think a list about web standards doesn't need to have teaching as its
first mission is not mistaken, it's considering that a different goal or
multiple goals might be acceptable.

Web standards are not new, though they may be new to some list users.
Teaching can be a function, but if helping others with the basics is its
sole function, as it's becoming here, it neglects another portion of the
list's members, those who have been using web standards since their
inception and hope to have extended discussions about, for example, XHTML
vs. HTML5, CSS3, current and upcoming browser implementation of standards,
emerging standards and so on.


Jody Tate

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