W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-xml@w3.org > January 2011

Re: Use cases

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:17:05 +0100
To: "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: public-html-xml@w3.org, "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Message-ID: <op.voufir0q64w2qv@anne-van-kesterens-macbook-pro.local>
On Wed, 05 Jan 2011 16:38:37 +0100, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>  
> I note that you don't define soon, all, or browsers.

Since you mentioned you wanted to include feed readers, I was not sure  
that would be relevant. Browsers I would include are those based on  
Trident, Presto, WebKit, and Gecko. Soon would be in a couple of years.

> Additionally, there are feed formats, such as RSS 2.0, which do not  
> provide a means to clearly identify the mime type of descriptions. Until  
> all user agents are rewritten "properly" and all legacy document formats  
> are retired, I don't believe that use cases should be rejected based on  
> how an ideal world would look like any more than I believe that HTML5  
> should ignore supporting the vast corpus of existing content as a  
> requirement.

I think these are different things. While HTML5 very much takes legacy  
into account. Its design aspires an ideal world given the legacy  
constraints. Certainly not two ways to process text/html. E.g. HTML5 does  
not say you can parse legacy color values in these three different ways.  
No, it defines one single way, and the test suite will make sure it is  
implemented that way eventually. HTML5 is not alone in this, other  
specifications dealing with legacy constraints are written using a similar  
philosophy (CSS comes to mind).

It seems you are arguing against this design philosophy. At least in part.

> There are many scenarios where consumers will have to sniff or guess  
> content.  Hopefully, over time, more will converge or default to HTML5  
> as the way to parse unknown or mislabeled content.  Ideally, most  
> content will degrade gracefully with this choice, even if the original  
> author's intent was XHTML1.0 or XHTML5.  In fact, this generally is the  
> case.

In my experience doing QA for browsers (mostly Gecko and Opera) the intent  
of authors is to write content that works in a given set of browsers. They  
typically could care less about standards. That they have some boilerplate  
at the start is more the result of copy-and-paste than actual knowledge of  
what is going on. When you tell developers what a DOCTYPE actually does at  
a conference most are surprised.

> Meanwhile, many users of Planet Venus are serving their content as  
> text/html.  And I continue to have no way to prevent such.  Nor do I  
> have any desire to do so.

I have no problem with that. I have a problem with resources pretending to  
be different things depending on the interpreting user agent.

>>> [1]  
>>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-xml/2011Jan/0025.html
>>> [2] http://intertwingly.net/blog/2010/12/30/Dealing-with-HTML-in-Feeds

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Wednesday, 5 January 2011 16:25:35 UTC

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