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Re: [whatwg] notes on current HTML5 draft

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 21:53:14 +0000 (UTC)
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0906052145410.1648@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

(-whatwg to reduce cross-posting)

On Sat, 2 May 2009, Shelley Powers wrote:
> Section 1.6.3, where you compare HTML5 with XHTML2 and XForms, you write
> "However, XHTML2 and XForms lack features to express the semantics of many of
> the non-document types of content often seen on the Web. For instance, they
> are not well-suited for marking up forum sites, auction sites, search engines,
> online shops, mapping applications, e-mail applications, word processors,
> real-time strategy games, and the like.
> This specification aims to extend HTML so that it is also suitable in these
> contexts."
> This sounds more like marketing speak than something one would find in a 
> specification. If it's important for an individual to know why they 
> might want to use HTML5 over XHTML2, then the information should be 
> given in detail, rather than in one vague paragraph.

Those two paragraphs are merely two amongst quite a long, and quite 
detailed, introduction section. Could you elaborate on what more 
information should be included?

> In addition, I've not found that the HTML5 specification answers the 
> claims given in the above paragraph. For instance, why would HTML5 be 
> better for a mapping application than XHTML2? Or an auction site?

XHTML2 lacks APIs that would be necessary for any kind of application. For 
mapping applications specifically, features like <canvas> and the 
drag-and-drop API make HTML5 far more suitable. For an application like an 
auction site, the offline application cache and elements like <meter> make 
HTML5 more suitable.

> In section 1.7, you write
> "The "DOM5 HTML", "HTML5", and "XHTML5" representations cannot all represent
> the same content. For example, namespaces cannot be represented using "HTML5",
> but they are supported in "DOM5 HTML" and "XHTML5". Similarly, documents that
> use the noscript  feature can be represented using "HTML5", but cannot be
> represented with "XHTML5" and "DOM5 HTML". Comments that contain the string
> "-->" can be represented in "DOM5 HTML" but not in "HTML5" and "XHTML5". And
> so forth."
> "And so forth", is not something one wants to read in a specification, 
> because we expect precision, and "and so forth" is vague, and imprecise.

The actual details of this kind of thing are discussed in depth in 
non-introductory sections. This is just the introduction, it's meant to be 
friendly and welcoming, not precise.

> Since the HTML5 supposedly represents both a HTML and a XHTML 
> serialization technique, perhaps the document can take a lesson from the 
> RDF community and provide a separate document, or at least a section 
> detailing the two different serialization techniques.

See sections 9 The HTML syntax and 10 The XHTML syntax respectively.

> This would go far, too, in clearing up the confusion regarding XHTML. 
> Too many people are making assumptions that "XHTML is dead" because the 
> XHTML serialization of HTML5 is not spelled out as clearly as it could 
> be.

Could you elaborate on how much clearer I could make this?

> You actually do mix the differences between the two throughout the 
> document, but that, to me, seems to 'clutter' up the spec -- making it 
> difficult to determine what's new in the spec. If the HTML5 document is 
> a new model for web page markup, then the model aspect of the spec 
> should be detailed separately from its various serializations, and that 
> includes any API.

Could you illustrate what you mean with an example? I'm not sure I follow. 
As far as I can tell the HTML5 spec is organised in a way that separates 
the DOM from the two serialisations pretty thoroughly.

> Right now, it's difficult to read the specification because it jumps too 
> frequently between the abstract and the implementation, sometimes in one 
> sentence.

Please let me know if you have specific examples of this that I can fix.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 5 June 2009 21:53:46 UTC

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