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

Re: stopping discussions on serializations and contributing constructively

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 19:28:46 +0100
To: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070713182846.GA5875@stripey.com>

Robert Burns writes:

> On Jul 11, 2007, at 5:56 PM, Smylers wrote:
> > Dan Connolly writes:
> > 
> > > I encouraged some discussion in this thread as input to the editor
> > > of "HTML5 differences from HTML4", but I think it's time to bring
> > > this thread to a close.  The editor has considered these
> > > suggestions;  we're starting to repeat ourselves and get into
> > > tangents.
> > 
> > Obviously that ends the discussion on the HTML source of that
> > particular document.  Do you also want us to stop the discussion on
> > the wider issues that have come out of this thread ("tangents", if
> > you like)?
> Smylers, rather than throwing out straw man arguments, it would be
> better to find actual posts that reflect the sentiment you're arguing
> against.

In that mail I wasn't arguing against anything, but here are some quotes
from the mails I was alluding to:

* Robert Burns said: "It might be worth considering making the non-XML
  serialization of HTML5 a very XML-like serialization of HTML5.
  Obviously, the UA conformance would include requirements for inference
  of opening and closing tags, but our recommendation for authoring
  could require authors to always include closing tags"

* Mynthon Gmail said: "My idea is to have compatible syntax, but xhtml
  is xhtml with its own parse and html is html with its own parser. Only
  syntax is unified."

* To which Robert Burns then agreed: "its hard for me to think of
  downsides to just requiring of authors a very XML-like syntax for
  HTML5's non-SGML / non-XML serialization."

> > For example, there've been proposals that the non-XHTML should
> > require closing tags, or quotes round attributes,which would be
> > significant changes from the current spec.  Is it still OK to
> > discuss these proposals?
> I don't think anyone expressed that.

The above quotes appear to do that.

> > And there have been claims that XHTML is preferred over HTML, which
> > is not reflected by the current spec, which says:
> > 
> >  Generally speaking, authors are discouraged from trying to use XML
> >  on the Web, because XML has much stricter syntax rules than the
> >  "HTML5" variant described above, and is relatively newer and
> >  therefore less mature.
> This is not from the current "spec". This is from the current  
> "draft": which is what we're all here to work on.

Well yes, obviously.  I presume that everybody on this mail list knows
that the spec is currently in draft state.  That's what I meant by
"current spec": the spec as per its current draft.

> You can't cite the current "draft" as evidence that proposals would
> conflict with current standards.

Actually, quite the opposite: I mentioned it to show that should the
group decide to embrace the opinions I referred to then the spec would
need changing to reflect them.  Hence why I asked whether it's still OK
to discuss such changes.

> That's entirely counter-productive.
> Again, however, no one has expressed anything about guiding authors  
> to to prefer XML over text/html.

This thread started with people suggesting that the document produced by
this working group should be have the closing tags and quote marks
required by XML, for example Sander Tekelenburg:

  The current mix of sometimes using optional closing tags and sometimes
  not is probably a bad signal to authors -- at the very least it should
  be consistent, but preferably it would use explicit closing tags even
  when they're not required. ... W3C setting the example by always
  explicitly closing everything is probably a good idea.

If this working group agrees on that "good idea" then we will need to
update the spec accordingly.

> You're misreading these comments.  Suggestions  have been floated to
> permit (and not deprecate or  discourage) authors to use XML-like
> syntax for the text/html  serialization.

Those as well.

> One way to reduce the traffic on the list would be to stop these straw
> man and knee-jerk arguments entirely. When posting a reply consider
> whether you're post will shape the conversation in a positive way. If
> you're posting to just register your opposition to statements without
> constructively shaping the discussion, just choose not to comment.

Thanks for the advice.  In this case I wasn't opposing anything, merely
seeking advice from the chairman on whether the issues I mention are

Received on Saturday, 14 July 2007 15:32:41 UTC

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