W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-bugzilla@w3.org > March 2010

[Bug 9122] Obsolete but Conforming

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 21:22:08 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Nx5MW-0005In-HL@wiggum.w3.org>

Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
             Status|NEW                         |RESOLVED
         Resolution|                            |WONTFIX

--- Comment #1 from Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>  2010-03-31 21:22:08 ---
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please
reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML
Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest
title and text for the tracker issue; or you may create a tracker issue
yourself, if you are able to do so. For more details, see this document:

Status: Rejected
Change Description: no spec change

> The text of the current HTML 5 draft does not contain the sections in previous
> versions of HTML in regards to Deprecated and Obsolete HTML elements[1].

Previous versions plural? I couldn't find that section in HTML 3.2, HTML2,
XHTML 1.1, or any other HTML spec that I looked at other than HTML4.

> Instead, the current document references terms such as "obsolete but
> conforming" [2], leaving a great deal of confusion about just what this means,
> and about the state of the elements so described. [3][4].

There's really not that much to be confused about. These features are obsolete.
They are only conforming because they are essentially harmless when used in
existing documents, and so it's not worth the effort to clean out older
documents that use them, but they are still obsolete because they don't do
anything useful, and so it would waste authors' time if they used them.

> In addition, several valid HTML 4 elements and attributes have been described
> as obsolete in HTML 5, not deprecated, which does not provide a graceful
> transition period for people to remove these elements/attributes from their web
> documents.

Experience with HTML4 has shown that the concern over transition periods is
misplaced. People don't transition when you tell them they can still use the

Consider the transition period to be the development cycle of HTML5. By the
time HTML5 is done, we'll have had as long as the time from HTML4 to now, so
that's plenty of time for people to transition.

> Considering how widespread the support for deprecated is within the technology
> industry[5], the HTML 5 specification should return to the previously defined
> sections describing deprecated and obsolete as listed in the HTML 4 document.

This isn't a popularity game. We're not doing things because they're widely
supported, we're doing them because they're the right solution. Deprecation on
the Web has been shown to be the wrong solution.

> Doing so will ensure that older HTML elements aren't abruptly dropped, causing
> confusion.

Clearly deprecation doesn't help with this either, since when we removed
style="", which was deprecated in XHTML 1.1, people got very confused.

> This move will also ensure that there is a procedure in place to
> ensure that when an element is dropped, it's dropped in favor of a replacement
> that provides the same, or enhanced functionality.

Deprecation does not provide this. We already have this using a far superior
mechanism: wide public peer review.

> It will also help clarify
> confusion caused by using terminology not used previously with any other known
> specification.

The terms "obsolete" and "conforming" are widely used.

Configure bugmail: http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/userprefs.cgi?tab=email
------- You are receiving this mail because: -------
You are the QA contact for the bug.
Received on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 21:22:12 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 16:30:48 UTC