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Re: Brainstorming: Best of all Worlds

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 18:14:32 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer <sebastian@dreamlab.net>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0703221755290.2253@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Thu, 22 Mar 2007, Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer wrote:
> 
> The way I see it is that what happened here at W3C recently is like a 
> merger between two competing companies with two competing products. 
> While both companies tried to define themselves as being "anti" the 
> other, shortly after the merger this mindset still exists, but slowly 
> fades aways in favour of a synergy strategy enabling a better product 
> for the customer.

For the record, the WHAT working group is not against XHTML2 or XForms. 
Indeed, many great ideas are in those technologies, and many have been 
incorporated into the WHATWG specs. If you (Sebastian) look at the 
acknowledgements of the Web Forms 2.0, you will see your name there. 
However, backwards compatibility is a core principle to the WHATWG work, 
which is why instead of just using the XForms and XHTML2 technologies, we 
developed extensions to the existing language and APIs to address similar 
needs. Doing this work in the W3C doesn't change this at all; backwards 
compatibility and interoperability in the face of non-conforming content 
are still core principles that the WHATWG and its contributors think are 
critical to any Web technology's development.

I'm a little concerned, however, that you would describe your own working 
groups as having defined themselves as being "anti" the WHATWG. Is this 
really true? If so, I hope you are right that that mindset will fade.


> I would like to kick start discussion on whether or not it is beneficial 
> to think in terms of Best of all Worlds, including HTML5, Web Forms 2.0, 
> XHTML 1.0, Modularization of XHTML, XHTML 2 and XForms.

I absolutely agree that it is beneficial to consider all technologies and 
proposals. The WHATWG has been doing this since its inception. Web Forms 
2.0 and Web Apps 1.0 ("HTML5") both already incorporate features from 
XHTML 1.0, Modularization of XHTML, XHTML 2 and XForms, where those 
features are suitable for today's Web, solve clear user or author needs, 
and can be made backwards compatible with good graceful fallback. In fact, 
I'm not sure of any further features from those drafts that could be added 
without problems (yes, yes, Anne, maybe <di> could).

Some people have suggested some features, like declarative calculations, 
but it isn't clear how those features would work (the XForms Transitional 
draft, as previously discussed, doesn't actually define how they would 
work for all cases -- according to the current definition, in fact, one 
would have to solve the halting problem to implement the spec). In the 
case of declarative calculations it is also not clear how the feature 
could be made to degrade gracefully without breaking full implementations.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 22 March 2007 18:14:38 GMT

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