One of the difficulties people have with the specifications hosted on freedesktop.org is figuring out just what the status of them is. I guess I just don't find this page all that enlightening. freedesktop.org does have a git repository, but the specifications are apparently still in cvs somewhere and there's very little in the way useful structure to it.
Another issue is the inertia in fromt of putting a draft spec on freedesktop.org and keeping the authoring process transparent. The visual notifications spec the Galago project originally did up, and which uses the org.freedesktop namespace on the bus (urps!), isn't hosted on freedesktop.org at all. To find it, you have to know it exists in the first place and then do some googelfu to pull it up. As another example, at one point, a fellow working on some clipboard related stuff was blocked for nearly six months waiting for a website update to show progress on the relevant spec. Oi vey!
I figured this should get fixed and with all my copious free time I figured I could do it, maybe. :P So I posted an idea to fd.o and there was feedback given such as Vincent Untz suggest to put the metadata in a file rather than plop the name of the project in the spec file name. Fair enough :)
While there was a good amount of initial interest .. none of us did anything. Oops.
I last wrote a blog entry on this nearly a year ago. In testimony to the lack of sexiness related to the topic, there were exactly zero comments on that entry. For comparison: the posting a few days before had 30 comments and one a few days after had 15.
So I started a git repo and put a couple of the specs into it to experiment with things. I don't have a git account on fd.o and nor do I particularly feel like jumping through hoops to get one just to play around with this, so I went the "get things done, let's worry about detail later" route. I started on a XML metadata file format, some parts of which are inspired by the docbook stuff already in the specs, and started on a repository structure.
(Btw, I know that github is proprietary software; but gitorious was broken and not behaving nicely when I went to do my work. :/ )
The idea is that you should be able to check out the repository and have all the documentation transparent and easily accessible to you. You shouldn't need to know revision numbers or rcs commands to get at specific releases. You should be able to see what spec is use by whom and since when.
However, I haven't done anything more on it in the last two weeks. Fail!
I mentioned I'd started this on the xdg list on freedesktop.org and nobody commented (or if they did, I missed it.. :/), which also sort of sucks. But oh well ... I'm going to do my best over the next few weeks to dump the remaining specs into the git repo and write up a small utility or two that will rip through the xml metadata files and answer queries like "which specs are implemented in both KDE and XFCE?" or "list the versions of GNOME that support the menu spec" as well as be able to dump out feature support matrixes and tables of index in html.
If you'd like to help out with this wonderfully entertaining (*cough*) task, please find me on irc or by email or just fork the git report and start sending pull requests.