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Re: HTML5: The Markup Language - section 5 suggestions

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 16:29:08 +0900
To: "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <20100302072907.GA10645@sideshowbarker>
"Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>, 2010-02-02 11:17 +0100:

> This comment is about 
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/markup/
> W3C Editor’s Draft 1 February 2010
> 1) I think, this draft is really a progress concerning
> understandability for authors of (X)HTML5 documents,
> compared to the 'vocabulary and API draft'.

Thanks. For helping authors understand HTML5, I think another
document that constitutes real progress for helping authors
understand HTML5 is the auto-generated "author view":


> 2) In the table of contents, section 5, several elements
> are indicated as 'NEW' or 'CHANGED', but this seems
> to be incomplete, for example elements like 
> article, embed, footer (...?) are new too

Thanks for catching those. Not sure how I missed them, but I think
that I have all the new ones properly marked now.

> and due to
> removed attributes or a changed content model some
> elements are changed too, such as object, dl/dt/dd (...?),
> but not indicated as such.

I have made some judgment calls as far as which elements I've
marked up as "changed". If I were to mark every element that has
removed/obsolete attributes, there would be significantly more
"Changed" indicators in the TOC -- perhaps so many that it would
risk diluting the value of having the "Changed" indicator at all.

If there are elements that you believe particularly strongly
should be marked as "Changed", please let me know -- either by
email or by filing a bug in our bugzilla -


> I think, this needs some more
> careful exploration, what is new and what is changed
> compared to what (recommendation HTML4.01? XHTML1.0? 

I have so far not attempted to have the H:TML document
exhaustively list all the changes since the previous major update
of the HTML language. For one thing, we do already have a document
that does a very good job of that -- the "HTML5 differences from
HTML4" document:


That said, I do plan to try to add some more information about
changes in the per-element "Details" section of the H:TML draft.

> 3) I think, because 
> 'This specification describes the HTML language and provides details 
> necessary for producers of HTML content to create documents that 
> conform to the language.' 
> it would be pretty helpful for authors to group together elements
> in meaningful subsections (forms, lists, tables, meta information,
> multimedia, structure, phrasing, ruby, quotations, etc) instead of 
> listing them in alphabetical order.

I think it doesn't need to be an either/or situation. I plan to
keep the main listing in alphabetical order, but can add
appendices that provide other groupings.

> Such an approach has big advantages for authors to understand the
> purpose and the application of elements and could result in a draft with
> a comparable usability as for example recommendations like HTML4,
> SMIL1,2,3, SVG1.1, SVG tiny 1.2, CSS2.0 etc.

The usability of a particular document needs to be measured in
part against the purpose for which the document is intended, and
even then any evaluation of its usability is going to be
subjective. In the case of the H:TML draft, it is primarily
intended for the relatively narrow purpose of describing what an
HTML "conforming document" is.

For authors who want something more comprehensive than just a
draft that describes what a conforming document is, we have the
author view:


That follows a format much closer to that of the other specs you
cite above (and for what it's worth, I think it is as at least as
good in terms of usability as any of those specs you cite).


Michael(tm) Smith
Received on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 07:29:12 UTC

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