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

Re: The argument for |bugmode|

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2007 13:43:08 +0200
To: W3C HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <r02020000-207-1049-ppc-EB94ED07F3AF45A2AD949CD4F195FFC5@pounder.neutri.no>

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mattraymond@earthlink.net (Matthew Raymond) wrote:

>b) The version number increases bandwidth.

Lets just dispense with this one right off the bat. In one 
proposed syntax this boils down to one single byte. You'll waste 
more bandwidth on a GIF that's not perfectly optimized; that 
single byte — no matter how insanely many page views you want 
to postulate — will be literally impossible to detect.

For alternate equivalent syntaxes, a one byte difference may 
possibly be a valid consideration, but in the general case 
bandwidth is not a valid argument one way or the other.


mattraymond@earthlink.net (Matthew Raymond) wrote:

>Terje Bless wrote:
>>If the standard says «This is how you identify a given document as
>>“HTML5” if you are a conforming HTML5 UA.» then there will be no need for
>>one UA to encourage its users to say «If you are the UA from “Vendor
>>Foo”, but no other UA, I want you to use this particular, proprietary,
>>optional behavior.»
>
>False. […]

You dispute that having the standard specify a way to achieve 
“Goal X” will obviate the need for “Vendor Y” to invent 
its own way to achieve that goal?


>>You may not have need of a way to unambiguously identify the author's
>>intent to utilize “HTML5”, but one member of the WG has expressed a need
>>for this functionality and it behooves us to listen very carefully and
>>attempt to accommodate this need.
>
>Tying bugs to a version number doesn't make them go away,

I suggest you contact the IE team and make that argument to them.


>>Lets reference the Proposed Design Principles: "Solve Real Problems",
>
>Versioning doesn't solve any real problem, because new version
>numbers don't make user agents compliant, and because it encourages the
>proliferation of new modes in user agents that increase code complexity.

One of the participants of this working group has pointed out a 
real problem that they have, that they need to solve, and which 
they would very much like this standard to accommodate. That's a 
Real Problem that needs Solving.

You seem to be arguing against solving it for reasons of 
theoretical purity and your speculations as to what idealized 
world might possibly have come to pass if this problem didn't 
exist in the first place.


>>"Priority of Constituencies",
>
>Although Microsoft has considerable marketshare, they are the only
>browser vendor I know of that is currently asking for this.

And because they're Microsoft we shouldn't listen to them?

They have a real problem that they need to solve, and would 
prefer to solve within the confines of this standard. This 
problem is also one that comes directly from the _users_ of this 
particular UA.


>>and "Well-Defined Behavior"
>
>What's defined? All you've done is stick a number in the markup that
>can be used by the user agent in an UNDEFINED manner.

If the standard defines the particular syntactic construct then 
it will be openly specified and peer reviewed. If not they will 
be forced to implement a proprietary way to do it, with no peer review.



>1) There is real harm:
>
>a) Switching on the version encourages Microsoft to leave bugs unfixed for
>a specific version.
>
>b) The version number increases bandwidth.
>
>c) Different modes for each version increases code complexity.

“Encouragement” one way or the other is not an argument I 
consider valid in this context. Neither is “Bandwidth”.

Code complexity of implementations is in general a good 
argument, but in this case the burden is on the implementors who 
actually wish to make use of such behavior. As you so vehemently 
point out, only one vendor has expressed a need for this as yet, 
so no other implementor of the specification will be burdened 
with this additional complexity. As for Microsoft, they've 
stated they need to implement this no matter what the standard 
does or does not provide for, so there is actually no added 
complexity for them either.


>2) My |bugmode| attribute works just fine for selecting the proper mode,
>and can even be use preemptively so long as the UA identifier is known.

I'm sorry. Did you somehow get the impression that I was arguing 
in favor or against one specific syntactic construct to hang 
this requirement on?

I have some thoughts on how the standard might implement this 
requirement, but I haven't as yet written of it. If I've given 
that impression — perhaps you thought I was arguing against 
your specific syntax? — then I apologize; that was not my intention.


>3) If Microsoft intends to make releases of IE more frequently that the
>W3C releases HTML versions, then they're going to need a switch unrelated
>to the version anyways.

Perhaps. I believe Chris said he'd be happy with just including 
the version in the document type name, so apparently they feel 
this would be sufficient.


- -- 
   You deliberately confused me by using that *alphnumeric* 
sorting again
   didn't you :-P Can't you use the same randomising hash 
function my brain
   does? I wish I could find the spec for that function btw ...
                                                 — Andy Burns 
on Fedora-Devel

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Received on Saturday, 21 April 2007 11:43:51 GMT

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