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Re: Formally Object to Referencing WhatWG within the W3C HTML5 specification

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 17:01:35 +0100
Message-Id: <5253BFDF-47C4-4BDB-B7DB-A2D4D88BFF1A@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
To: "T.J. Crowder" <tj@crowdersoftware.com>
Hi T.J.,

On 9 Jun 2010, at 15:57, T.J. Crowder wrote:
[snip]
> What I wrote was:
>
>> FWIW, completely agree that there must be one specification for  
>> HTML5. Unless the W3C is prepared to step back and let the WhatWG  
>> take ownership, that spec must be "owned" by the W3C. Pages like  
>> this one [http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/ 
>> multipage/] are very confusing. I've seen it cited in online  
>> discussions as "the HTML5 standard" (and why shouldn't someone  
>> think it was? It says "draft standard" on it).
>> The work of the WhatWG is extremely important, it has driven and  
>> continues to drive this process forward where HTML had been under-  
>> and mis-specified for years. That work needs to be credited and  
>> honored, but as HTML5 is becoming the new baseline, there needs to  
>> be a single definitive source of normative information about it,  
>> with other sources of draft proposals (not standards, not  
>> specifications)

You don't mean "not specifications" do you? It's hard to see how you  
can propose something without providing a specification of what you  
propose.

>> very, very clearly labelled as such.
>
>
> Having a competing "specification" is a sure route to fracture and  
> failure. I hope no one wants that. Those of us relying on these  
> standards certainly don't.


There are two HTML 4 standards, the W3C "recommendation" and ISO/IEC  
15445:2000(E):
	http://www.scss.tcd.ie/misc/15445/15445.html

Some purists might insist that only the latter is a standard :), but  
there are definitely two specifications. Now, editorially, the ISO  
spec is a "diff by ref" spec, so there are some differences. But note  
that the ISO spec is more restrictive than the W3C one.

If the WHATWG spec remains a superset, then I think the likely  
*technical* fragmentation reasonably can be seen as fairly minimal.

Whether there are significant social/marketing issues, well, I guess  
the real question is *how* significant they are. That I don't know.

People regularly get quite concerned about things like working drafts  
and the messages they send and fait accomplis, etc. But I don't think  
they tend to have widespread or severe negative effects.

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 16:01:07 GMT

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