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Re: Level of specification detail (Was Re: Proposal to Adopt HTML5)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 10:24:44 -0500
Message-ID: <461CFDBC.70006@w3.org>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Cc: Henrik Dvergsdal <henrik.dvergsdal@hibo.no>, public-html@w3.org

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> 
> On Wed, 11 Apr 2007 11:28:36 +0200, Henrik Dvergsdal 
> <henrik.dvergsdal@hibo.no> wrote:
>> If we put HTML4.01 at one end of the scale and ECMA-262 at the other, 
>> where should we place HTML5?
>>
>> If we go for a very high level of detail, I think it will be useful to 
>> have a superficial, syntactically oriented author view on the spec so 
>> that authors/developers can share the same source without having to 
>> relate to all the algorithms.
>>
>> In most cases authors/developers don't need the algorithms - they just 
>> need to validate the syntax and then check with the browsers if things 
>> work/look ok.
> 
> Instead of talking about how to do the specification perhaps you should 
> have a look at the proposal and comment on where it doesn't meet your 
> needs. I think that would be a more constructive way of moving forward.

I don't see any reason to suppress this sort of discussion of
the proposal.

Since you represent Opera and Opera supports
it, you're not exactly neutral, either.

There is a natural tension between writing the sort of precise,
exhaustive specification that meets the needs of implementors,
and writing for the audience of authors, who mostly need a bunch
of examples to copy from and a bit of explanatory material.

When we developed OWL, the Web Ontology Language
(http://www.w3.org/2004/OWL/ ), we had enough
writing resources to explain the language from 5 different
perspectives:
   Overview
   Use Cases and Requirements
   Guide
   Reference
   Abstract Syntax and Semantics
   Test Cases

In this Working Group, so far we seem to have some
emerging design principles to supplement the specification.
  (http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/ProposedDesignPrinciples )

I can think of a number of other useful tasks. I think
I'll follow up about that separately...


-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Wednesday, 11 April 2007 15:24:54 UTC

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