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Re: Support Existing Content (was: Proposed Design Principles review)

From: Preston L. Bannister <preston@bannister.us>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 08:08:02 -0700
Message-ID: <7e91ba7e0704280808u380c4bf0h4c4a5f84ba3551a4@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Brad Fults" <bfults@gmail.com>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com>
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> I renamed this principle to "Support Existing Content". Here is the new
text:
>
> SupportExistingContent: Browsers implementing the new version of HTML
> should still be able to handle existing content. Ideally, it should be
> possible to process web documents and applications via an HTML5
> implementation even if they were authored against older implementations
> and do not specifically request HTML5 processing.
This re-statement is much improved over the prior, BTW.


On 4/27/07, Brad Fults <bfults@gmail.com> wrote:

> [snip]

Third, the primary goal of this working group is the production of "a
> language evolved from HTML4 for describing the semantics of documents
> and applications on the World Wide Web."[2] That language, presumably
> called "HTML 5", is to be the proper successor to HTML 4.
>
> To summarize:
>
> - There is *one* primary goal for this working group: the HTML 5
> specification document.
> - The are *two* primary objectives in the WHAT WG's "HTML5" draft:
>
>     1. A specification of the parsing requirements *for browser vendors*
> to render the content on the web today.
>     2. A specification of a language evolved from HTML 4 with new language
> features *for content authors* that relies on those parsing requirements.
>
> The success of this group requires a conspicuous separation between
> these two objectives, one concerning only browser vendors and one
> primarily concerning content authors.


With the minor quibble that (1) should be parsing and behavior to render
content on the web today - the distinction between (1) and (2) seems to be
the point driving a lot of discussion.


The aforementioned proposed design principle, "Support Existing
> Content" applies wholly and solely to #1 on this list. This principle
> is not debatable in the eyes of the WHAT WG and those who are
> acquainted with the open future of the web. Any output of this working
> group that breaks compatibility with the current content on the web
> will be ignored by the web at large and pushed, through ignorance,
> into obscurity.
>

As a guy writing web applications, my interest in an increment forward from
HTML 4.  In addition to the prose I do hope we can come up with a test
suite, so that there is less chance of (mis-) interpretation of the spec,
and differences between browser implementations.  Given a through test
suite, the problem of differing browser implementations should reduce
radically with each successive generation of browsers and HTML.  A
well-crafted set of tests force us towards a single common interpretation of
the spec.
Received on Saturday, 28 April 2007 15:08:04 UTC

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