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An open, top-down process

We’ve been hard at work putting together the RFC for HDXPRT 2012. As a group of us sat around a table discussing what we’d like to see in the benchmark, it became clear to me how different this development process is from those of other benchmarks I’ve had a hand in creating (3D WinBench, Winstone, WebBench, NetBench, and many others.). The big difference is not in the design or the coding or even the final product.

The difference is the process.

A sentiment that came up frequently in our meeting was “Sure, but we need to see what the community thinks.” That indicates a very different process than I am used to. Different from what companies developing benchmarks do and different from what benchmark committees do. What it represents, in a word, is openness. We want to include the Development Community in every step of the process, and we want to figure out how to make the process even more open over time. For example, we discussed ideas as radical as videoing our brainstorming sessions.

Another part of the process I think is important is that we are trying to do things top-down. Rather than deciding which applications should be in the benchmark, we want to start by asking how people really use high-definition media. What do people typically do with video? What do they do to create it and how do they watch it? Similarly, what do people do with images and audio?

At least as importantly, we don’t want to include only our opinions and research on these questions; we want to pick your brains and get your input. From there, we will work on the workflows, the applications, and the RFC. Ultimately, that will lead to the scripts themselves. With your input and help, of course!

Please let us know any ideas you have for how to make the process even more open. And tell us what you think about this top-down approach. We’re excited and hope you are, too!


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