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9. WYSIWYG editor (enforcing the signature)

From: Mihai Sucan <mihai.sucan@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2007 12:46:38 +0300
To: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.twg9f0pjmcpsjgr0b0dp@localhost.localdomain>

Hello!

I have read the HTML 5 spec section on WYSIWYG editors [1] and I'd like to
express my concern on requiring the inclusion of "(WYSIWYG editor)" in the
META NAME="generator" CONTENT attribute value.

Having experience with working on my own WYSIWYG editor, I believe the
aformentioned requirement is not really applicable. As in, I wouldn't like
to include the suggested string. Here's a simple reason: my CMS generates
correct, semantical markup (or tries to do so). The *strict* content of
the pages is all generated by my WYSIWYG editor, found in the CMS. Having
the "(WYSIWYG editor)" mention in the "generator" meta-tag does not really
reflect the reality, when someone looks into the page code, either
personally, or with a parser. For example, the blog pages are mostly
generated by the blog engine, and only the article itself is edited with
the WYSIWYG tool. The user never edits *the entire* page with the WYSIWYG
editor. The page is not generated by the tool, it's not the result of any
"silly hacks" in the WYSIWYG world. Obviously, I consider the signature
appropriate for documents entirely generated by WYSIWYG editors, like NVU,
Dreamweaver and such.

Another point for not requiring the inclusion of "(WYSIWYG editor)" in the
meta-tags is: someone will find this "delightful" and just "great" for
some of his/her parsers, to be able to detect pages generated by editors.
No means are provided to detect that HTML 5 is used in the document (a
version attribute, a DOCTYPE which specifically tells the version somehow,
or whatever), but you provide something which allows parsers to sniff the
document for "WYSIWYG editors". This is like checking for a "feature", a
characteristic of the page. Also, this can be used just like the current
<!DOCTYPE html> to check if the document is "HTML 5" - nobody should
actually do it, but some will definitely do it. Of course, doing this *is*
wrong: you cannot rely on the presence of the "(WYSIWYG editor)"
signature, you cannot rely on the DOCTYPE, you cannot rely on ... anything.

The spec wording even seems ambiguous in the definition of the FONT
element. Is it allowed on pages without the signature? Is it not? I
believe it is not allowed because the spec says the FONT element "must not
be used except by WYSIWYG editors". This causes the following in a
validator scenario:

1. if the document does not contain the signature, and no FONT, the
document is valid. (assuming the document is otherwise valid)

2. if the document does not contain the signature, but it does use the
FONT element: the document is invalid - error found "the page seems to be
generated by WYSIWYG editor, because it uses the FONT tag. You MUST
include the (WYSIWYG editor) signature in your meta-tag generator content
value" (with a better wording than mine :) ).

3. if the document does contain the signature, and no FONT, the document
is valid.

4. if the document does contain the signature, and it uses the FONT
element: the document is valid. According to the spec, this is not an
error -the use of the FONT element is allowed in this case. Maybe the
validator should warn on the use of the FONT tag ("try to improve the
semantic of your code"), but that's another story.

I don't "like" the above scenario. Having the document as valid, is ...
practically... at the "mercy" of the generator meta-tag. I do not consider
this anywhere close to "appropriate".

I suggest that the editors of the spec remove this requirement, because it
simply adds another rule to be broken/missused. Thus, the FONT element
shall be allowed on any page, irrespective of the generator signature.

If this request does not seem convincing, please provide your arguments
for keeping the spec the same. What are the use cases? Any examples where
this signature is needed today? Which (types of) UA would need the
signature?

Thank you.


[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#wysiwyg


(PS. By mistake, I sent this email to the www-html mailing list yesterday.)


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Received on Friday, 3 August 2007 09:46:45 GMT

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