W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

RE: Versioning and html[5]

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 23:54:13 +0000 (UTC)
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0704122345550.13484@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>


I'm going to focus on my proposed alternative to versioning instead of 
focusing on the negative aspects that versioning would introduce since I 
can't see how to convince you of the negative aspects (you seem to be 
understanding what I'm saying, just not reaching the same conclusions).

On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Chris Wilson wrote:
> > 
> >The alternative is to write the spec in such a way that implementing it 
> >does not cause significant breakage. Given that I want to write a spec 
> >that describes how to render the content in _all_ of IE's modes -- 
> >quirks, today's standards, tomorrow's standards -- such that an 
> >implementation of this spec can render the Web, I will have to do this 
> >regardless of whether Microsoft has the motivation to ensure the spec 
> >has no breakage or not.
> 
> Ian, the spec you have today does not describe IE's platform.  Do you 
> disagree with this statement (think carefully - no classid?  Flash 
> doesn't work? Tons of "good idea" apis that we don't have?)

The current spec is not finished, correct. I would hope that when it is 
finished it is strictly compatible with legacy content that works in IE7 
(as a superset in some areas and probably a subset in others -- e.g. I 
would't plan on describing HTML+Time or the binary-level APIs of ActiveX, 
and at the same time, we do plan on adding new features).


> >It would be much easier to do if you guys would simply say when you 
> >couldn't implement the spec as written.
> 
> I would love to implement the spec as written.  Give me versions to hang 
> proper implementation on over time--

You misunderstand. I mean, if you implement the spec without versioning 
and find something breaks the Web, then we should change the spec. To know 
when something breaks the Web, you have to tell us. To tell us, you have 
to know. To know, you have to implement it without versioning. Then, 
*before* you ship with that change, we fix the spec and you fix the 
implementation so that the spec and the implementation are both compatible 
with legacy content. Thus, you can implement the spec, without versioning, 
and not break any legacy content.


> and I'll even do it without an IE-specific opt in.  The fact of the 
> matter is that today, web developers already serve different content to 
> IE and Firefox.

Yes, and this is a bad thing. We want to get away from this. If we can 
make a spec that means that browsers can implement the Web's technologies 
identically, then we don't need browser-sniffing.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 23:54:17 UTC

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