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Versioning of HTML fragments

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:41:22 -0400
Message-ID: <462D3612.6020803@us.ibm.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

Please forgive me if this has been covered before, but I'm new to the 
group and haven't been keeping up with the torrent.

Use cases:

   * My daughter directly edits HTML fragments via HTML forms
     for inclusion in her MySpace.

   * Syndication feeds generally contain fragments of HTML, which will
     be combined (or aggregated) with other content and displayed as
     a single page or frame.

   * Major sites often achieve a common look and feel by employing
     headers and footers.

   * Portals incorporate content from many sources into a single
     page.

Given these use cases (and undoubtedly, there are countless others), I'm 
concerned that global page-wide versioning syntaxes will end up being a 
failed attempt to shift the burden of reconciling disparate versions 
onto one of the components of the web least equipped to deal with it: to 
primitive templating systems.

The inevitable result will be unhappy users who won't blame the 
templates, but will either blame the browser vendors or this working group.

I'm also concerned that the existence of a version marker will 
ultimately be seen by some as a license to make incompatible changes.

The alternative is the path I perceived the WHATWG to be on: document as 
close as humanly possible the existing common behaviors implemented 
across the various browsers, and implement new features in new markup.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 06:49:52 UTC

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