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RE: Proposal to Adopt HTML5

From: David Dailey <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 13:41:35 -0400
Message-Id: <6.2.5.6.1.20070410124916.01dc8368@sru.edu>
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, paul haine <paul@joeblade.com>,HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

At 12:26 PM 4/10/2007, Chris Wilson wrote:
>Your co-chairs are responsible for building consensus within the 
>Working Group.
>

That having been said, let me express some of my sentiments (applying 
several disclaimers as appropriate*).

a) Having had some time to familiarize myself somewhat (only 
somewhat) with the contents of WHATWG's draft, it seems like as good 
a starting point as any. I had originally suggested that we start 
with HTML4 and add things in from WHATWG on a one-by-one sort of 
basis, because of the number of folks here who are not familiar with 
WHATWG's work. All in all, though, I think WHATWG is closer to where 
we should be than HTML4 so it proves a better starting point.

b) WHATWG's origins were based in discontent with the W3C (as per its 
FAQ). That is a discontent I have no reason to share (being new to 
this sort of thing), but it does give cause for caution.

c) I share a bit of concern with the way that some of it has been 
presented -- at times it has sounded a bit non-negotiable: sort of 
like "If W3C doesn't approve it, then there will be two standards -- 
theirs and ours."

d) there are things in the WHATWG proposal that I remain unconvinced 
of and would likely argue against should those discussions become 
appropriate. I think line-item discussion must remain possible.

e) there are numerous ideas that have surfaced in this group, since 
its inception, which are not incorporated in WHATWG, and I am unclear 
of the process by which that harmonization would occur. (again I 
suppose that is why we have chairs)

f) the argument that the WHATWG document is so extensively 
interconnected that parts of it cannot be considered in isolation has 
surfaced a couple of times. That seems to be an argument against a 
document rather than for it to me.

g) there are some issues (like innerHTML, setTimeout, SMIL, video, 
canvas) which would seem to have implications for, or perhaps be 
charter-constrained by other W3C initiatives. By distancing itself 
from W3C historically, WHATWG may not have needed, at the time, to 
abide by whatever proper jurisdictional protocol exists within W3C. 
If the chairs are cool with this, I have no fuss, since it is all 
most mysterious to me anyhow.

h) I'm still a bit skeptical of some of the "design principles." 
There have been times that they have been invoked seemingly with a 
bit more magic than logic, but as I've said "first principles" 
usually make me nervous -- so this is maybe just a personal quirk of mine.

Subject to all of those concerns, I think it is a very good thing -- 
it moves in most of the directions it seems like it should. It seems 
consistent with the charter of the WG. It is not as revolutionary in 
some arenas as I would have hoped, nor as evolutionary in others. I 
would hate to see discussion on such matters prematurely terminated 
as a result of its adoption.

It is clear that many bright and talented people devoted a huge 
amount of time and care to the development of this important 
document. Labeling it "HTML5" would provide a sort of ex post facto 
certificate of recognition from the W3C, and that would seem quite fitting.

Now, can we get back to talking about fun stuff?

regards,
David Dailey

* I don't claim to understand all of it; I'm not particularly 
well-versed at reading such documents; I don't claim great expertise 
in HTML -- I use it to markup my thoughts for teaching; I am usually 
quite willing to contradict myself. For further disclaimers see 
http://srufaculty.sru.edu/david.dailey/copyright/disclaimer.htm . 
Received on Tuesday, 10 April 2007 17:41:46 UTC

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