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

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

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 15:01:09 -0700
Message-Id: <CB422060-26EC-4304-A9A6-22ACF4895FE1@apple.com>
Cc: "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
To: tina@greytower.net


On Apr 30, 2007, at 2:30 PM, Tina Holmboe wrote:

> On 30 Apr, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>
>> On Apr 30, 2007, at 9:48 AM, Philip Taylor (Webmaster) wrote:
>>
>>> The W3C should define HTML, and browser manufacturers should be
>>> willing to accept that definition (or to reject it, at their own
>>> risk: this is a free world),
>>
>> Wouldn't it be better to take input from browser manufacturers into
>> account up front, and make HTML5 something that they are willing,
>> able and eager to implement in a conforming way? Keep in mind that
>
>   Netscape introduced the FONT element. Microsoft, Opera, and Apple  
> all
>   were willing, able, if not eager, to implement it.
>
>   Does that mean we should add FONT to the standard? The WHAT WG  
> seem to
>   think so - I disagree; as does most everyone I know who work with  
> the
>   web.

Browsers are going to implement it whether the standard describes it  
or not - so they may as well implement it interoperably in a way  
defined by spec. Note that although the WHATWG spec requires UAs to  
support FONT, it makes it non-conformant for documents except those  
created by a WYSIWYG editor. And even that aspect is in dispute.

>   I'm afraid that if we /do/ make HTML 5 what the browser vendors are
>   willing, able, and eager to implement then we'll not get anything
>   /other/ than what they want.
>
>   That's not enough. We /also/ need things in the specs that browser
>   vendors might not want, or to do things in ways /they/ don't  
> want; but
>   users might still need, require, wish ... this is a two-way street.

If none of the browser vendors want to do something, then the spec  
saying so isn't going to make a difference. It will just increase  
disrespect for the spec. XHTML2 is a veritable treasure trove of  
doing things the browser vendors don't want, and largely because of  
that it is far less useful than it could be.

>> though it may be satisfying to show those browser vendors who's boss,
>> you may find it more productive to work with us constructively.
>
>   There really is no need to make snide remarks. None here or  
> elsewhere
>   is trying to "show those browser vendors who's boss" - I, for  
> one, am
>   simply not in agreement with the path to take.

Philip said, and I quote: "The W3C should define HTML, and browser  
manufacturers should be willing to accept that definition (or to  
reject it, at their own risk: this is a free world)." That does not  
sound like constructive engagement to me. It sounds like he thinks  
the spec should be defined in a way that ignores or overrides  
implementor input, and then the implementors need to suck it up. I  
sense an undertone of resentment against browsers in all this. My  
apologies to Philip if I have misunderstood him.

You also have an explicit call in your message for doing things the  
browser vendors don't want. Not even a specific list, just a claim  
that "We /also/ need things in the specs that browser vendors might  
not want, or to do things in ways /they/ don't want," on the  
assumption that what browser vendors collectively want must be bad  
for users and developers in some way. I find this to be a poor  
attitude to take going in.

>   I hope, sincerely, that you are not suggesting disagreement is  
> somehow undesired.

I think a specific wish to do things that browser vendors don't want,  
just on general principle, is not a productive attitude. I would  
suggest that you may find a different approach more effective at  
getting results.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Monday, 30 April 2007 22:02:23 UTC

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