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

Re: Use cases

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2011 19:07:28 +0100
To: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: public-html-xml@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.vowfaqmb64w2qv@anne-van-kesterens-macbook-pro.local>
On Thu, 06 Jan 2011 17:45:16 +0100, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>  
> The only problem Atom can solve is the "I want to produce content that  
> is valid and capable of being consistently interpreted".  It has solved  
> that problem for me.
> It can't solve the problem that there are people out there who continue  
> to produce content which is not only not valid, not consistently  
> interpreted, but can't ever be determined to be valid or consistently  
> interpreted as the specs are ambiguous.
> Nor can it solve the problem that there are people who won't  
> consistently interpret it, not matter what the specs say.
> Cycling back to the original statement which you were responding to: as  
> an author of a tool that consumes feeds, no Atom doesn't address the  
> problem of having to deal with ambiguous content that continues to be  
> produced as RSS 2.0 or even RSS 1.0.  Nor could it, even if the AtomPub  
> working group had chosen to name the spec RSS 2.0 or published yet  
> another incompatible definition for the elements defined in the the  
> various RSS 2.0 specifications.

The problem you describe here is one RSS has and nobody has cared enough  
about to fix as of yet. That is because there is no good specification for  
RSS. Atom reinvented the wheel without fixing the original problem. And  
although it has seen greater success than similar attempts (XHTML2,  
original Cookie RFC, and Cookie2 RFC come to mind) it does indeed not fix  
the original problem. (I think my name might be somewhere on the Atom RFC.  

I am not sure however to what extent we should care about RSS not being  
specific about things being HTML or XML. It seems that is something the  
RSS community ought to solve in the long run. (Or RSS vanishes, but that  
seems unlikely.)

> Net: as long as we have both XHTML5 an HTML5 we are always going to have  
> content for which the original intent of the author can not be reliably  
> determined.  In most cases, interpreting such as HTML5 produces the best  
> results.  As such, it makes sense to advocate that people ONLY produce  
> XHTML5 which wouldn't degrade gracefully when interpreted as HTML5 IF  
> they have a compelling reason to do so.

I still think cross-media-type compatibility (i.e. polyglotness) is a bad  
idea and should not be advocated at all. Most people have no idea what is  
going on and we want to have one way to interpret documents.

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Thursday, 6 January 2011 18:08:12 UTC

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