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Re: Brainstorming: Best of all Worlds

From: Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer <sebastian@dreamlab.net>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 23:26:38 +0100
Message-ID: <4603029E.5010007@dreamlab.net>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Ian Hickson schrieb:
> On Thu, 22 Mar 2007, Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer wrote:
>> The way I see it is that what happened here at W3C recently is like a 
>> merger between two competing companies with two competing products. 
>> While both companies tried to define themselves as being "anti" the 
>> other, shortly after the merger this mindset still exists, but slowly 
>> fades aways in favour of a synergy strategy enabling a better product 
>> for the customer.
> 
> For the record, the WHAT working group is not against XHTML2 or XForms. 
> Indeed, many great ideas are in those technologies, and many have been 
> incorporated into the WHATWG specs. If you (Sebastian) look at the 
> acknowledgements of the Web Forms 2.0, you will see your name there. 
> However, backwards compatibility is a core principle to the WHATWG work, 
> which is why instead of just using the XForms and XHTML2 technologies, we 
> developed extensions to the existing language and APIs to address similar 
> needs. Doing this work in the W3C doesn't change this at all; backwards 
> compatibility and interoperability in the face of non-conforming content 
> are still core principles that the WHATWG and its contributors think are 
> critical to any Web technology's development.

Yes. I wasn't suggesting WHATWG was vs. XHTML 2 or 
XForms. I was suggesting that the technologies 
were designed in absence of a liaison and 
consistency check between W3C technologies. 
Currently XHTML2 and HTML5 are drifting apart, for 
example. I think this is a problem, and I think 
its a reasonable thing to ask, do we want this? 
Can't we make them grow together at some point? 
This is more than just incorporating some suitable 
aspects where possible, its more of a goal, or 
vision, and something that I think is the right 
thing to ask at brainstorming time of a new WG.

> I'm a little concerned, however, that you would describe your own working 
> groups as having defined themselves as being "anti" the WHATWG. Is this 
> really true? If so, I hope you are right that that mindset will fade.

No. And again, not my point. Hard to suggest that 
for Forms WG BTW, since XForms was designed before 
WHATWG even started. But entirely not where I 
wanted to go...

>> I would like to kick start discussion on whether or not it is beneficial 
>> to think in terms of Best of all Worlds, including HTML5, Web Forms 2.0, 
>> XHTML 1.0, Modularization of XHTML, XHTML 2 and XForms.
> 
> I absolutely agree that it is beneficial to consider all technologies and 
> proposals. The WHATWG has been doing this since its inception. Web Forms 
> 2.0 and Web Apps 1.0 ("HTML5") both already incorporate features from 
> XHTML 1.0, Modularization of XHTML, XHTML 2 and XForms, where those 
> features are suitable for today's Web, solve clear user or author needs, 
> and can be made backwards compatible with good graceful fallback. In fact, 
> I'm not sure of any further features from those drafts that could be added 
> without problems (yes, yes, Anne, maybe <di> could).
> 
> Some people have suggested some features, like declarative calculations, 
> but it isn't clear how those features would work (the XForms Transitional 
> draft, as previously discussed, doesn't actually define how they would 
> work for all cases -- according to the current definition, in fact, one 
> would have to solve the halting problem to implement the spec). In the 
> case of declarative calculations it is also not clear how the feature 
> could be made to degrade gracefully without breaking full implementations.

There is tendency that anything new doesn't work. 
Well, its not new, XForms Transitional is just a 
simplification of XForms, and XForms has been 
around for a while, and there a bunch of good 
ideas in there that have been widely validated.
Now taking some these ideas and making them 
compatible with SGML-based HTML is what XForms 
Transitional is about, and brings me to the core 
of my message, trying to bring these technologies 
together over the long run.

In the end all these technologies will be sitting 
side by side out there, and someone not knowing 
about all these details will wonder why the XML 
stack of the W3C fits together quite nicely and 
builds upon each other, but this HTML world goes 
off somewhere else. This is what people are 
concerned about, and in the end this inconsistency 
is expensive.

XForms Transitional is not fully cast in stone, 
yes, and I think thats a good thing in this case, 
since there is still room for definition and 
alignment here.

- Sebastian
Received on Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:27:46 GMT

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