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Re: [HDP] Response to Review of HTML Design Principles Questionnaire

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 13:58:24 +1000
Message-ID: <46CD05E0.8040100@lachy.id.au>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> 2007-08-22 16:57:30 +0200 Lachlan Hunt:
>> 2. Support Existing Content
>> This principle is essential. [...]
>> It really doesn't matter whether a particular feature was defined 
>> in HTML4, XHTML1 or not defined at all [...]  If there is 
>> significant existing content on the web that relies on particular 
>> user agent behaviour, then that behaviour should be specified [...]
> Take note, Laura and others: According to this interpretation, many
> of those you that have sofar voted strongly for this principle, are
> probably actually against it!
>> For example, <marquee> [...]
> While forexample headers= are allready counted by our editor as
> insignificant, and would not be supported - not even in
> legacy/existing content ...

The headers issue just hasn't been looked at yet.  Regardless of whether 
or not headers="" is considered conforming, it will definitely have 
processing requirements specified in due course, which is what this 
issue is about.

>> This is my proposed rewording:
> A new, honest, title is all this principle needs: «UAs Should Support
> *Significant Existing* Content». Then we would have understood what
> this is about:
> Statistics and percentages, again and again.

I didn't say anything about statistics.  Stats by themselves are not the 
only way to show that something is significant, it's just one of many 
factors to consider.

 From IRC:
<othermaciej> there's a lot of things to consider
<othermaciej> - does the feature fulfill a needed use case?
<othermaciej> - is it possible to do the same things as well without the 
<othermaciej> - which existing user agents, if any, implement the feature?
<othermaciej> - is the feature used widely in existing content?
<Hixie> - have existing user agents invented similar proprietary 
features to address the use case
<Hixie> - have libraries (e.g. dojo) implemented work arounds for the 
lack of the feature?
<Lachy> - benefits to users and authors
<othermaciej> - is most existing use (if there is any) such that it 
would be beneficial or hamful to the goal of the feature to support it?
<othermaciej> for example if a feature is not implemented by mainstream 
browsers but is widely used, it becomes likely that at least some 
content using it will depend on it being ignored
<othermaciej> and another thing to consider is that different criteria 
may apply to whether a feature is required for implementations, and to 
whether it is valid for content
<othermaciej> a feature that is considered to have no valid use cases 
and to violate various important principles may nontheless be required 
for implementations


> This way, it is actually the opposite of what it looks like: It is 
> not about which old features to support (the market decides that 
> anyhow), but about which old features UAs should have the blessing to 
> ignore: Sorry AT users, but we abide by the law.

Overreacting and reaching incorrect conclusions doesn't help.  My 
statement said absolutely nothing for or against the conformance of 
specific features (beyond the marquee example), least of all about 
accessibility related features.  It's about specifying user agent 
behaviour regardless of document conformance.

Lachlan Hunt
Received on Thursday, 23 August 2007 03:58:36 UTC

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