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Re: Guide/AlternateElementTemplate

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 17:57:39 +0000
Message-ID: <47583813.5030606@cam.ac.uk>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
CC: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>

Karl Dubost wrote:
> 
> 
> Le 6 déc. 2007 à 22:14, James Graham a écrit :
>> One problem with putting "lies to children"[1] in such a document is 
>> that it can undermine trust in tools that are written to the actual spec.
> 
> "Lie to children", aka oversimplification, is a good example of what you 
> are doing in the message here.

It's worth noting that, as I understand the term, "lies to children" are not 
"oversimplifications", they are deliberate simplifications made for pedagogical 
reasons. They also, often, but not necessarily, a useful approximation to the 
"truth" even for people who understand there is more complexity. For example the 
"lie to children" that the universe is governed by Newton's Laws, is also a 
sufficient approximation for many aspects of research-level physics.

>> For example consider the sequence of events:
>> * An author reads the authoring guide and is led to believe that all 
>> tags must be closed
> 
> "led to believe". full stop.
> In my previous message, I didn't say that it was the only way to write 
> tags.

I didn't intend to suggest you did. However it's not clear to me what the exact 
implications of the phrase "I'm in favor of not promoting optional end tags" 
are; one possible interpretation is "not mentioning optional end tags at-all in 
the authoring guide". I have certainly got the impression that some people would 
consider this omission a good thing. I was trying to explain why I see such 
"lies to children" *in a document produced by the W3C* as a bad thing.

> Hmm not sure how to put it in simpler terms.
> It can be addressed here in this section
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/html-author/#conventions
> 
> The syntax chosen in this document is a subset of all possible 
> requirements of HTML 5. Some elements may have optional end tags. For 
> the sake of clarity and teaching, we always closed elements with their 
> end tag. The detailed requirements  for each element is given in @@HTML 
> 5 Specification@@
> 
> 
> I think I understand what is your point. When I read the body element 
> section, there is the green section, which IMHO, should not be in this 
> document or at least not the first thing we see. At best I would put all 
> the content model, tag things, etc. at the bottom of each section or in 
> an appendix.

Well I have no problem with having a consistent notation for examples, or 
organizing the guide so the most useful material is most prominent. However I 
think all the features of the conforming language should be covered.

-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Thursday, 6 December 2007 17:57:54 GMT

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