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Re: conflation of issues or convergence of interests?

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 14:56:16 +0100
Message-ID: <46AB4B00.7060405@splintered.co.uk>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org

Anne van Kesteren wrote:

> This seems most useful for everyone involved. Ignoring what people are 
> doing just leads to design that isn't likely to be adopted as it doesn't 
> suit the needs of authors. It also doesn't help users as software that 
> would conform to HTML 4 wouldn't be able to render the web (at all).

[...]

> Oh, I agree with that. I'm just arguing that it's important to take 
> existing usage into account (which has been done for most if not all of 
> the features currently in HTML 5).

I actually agree as well that we shouldn't ignore current use. But I 
don't think it's necessarily an either/or proposition. As with HTML 4, 
many authors may not have taken advantage of certain features, but some 
certainly did. Just ditching one feature because it's less used (or used 
incorrectly by well-meaning, but mistaken authors) takes away from the 
language, as it then forces the knowledgeable authors who were indeed 
using those features correctly to adapt to a lowest common denominator, 
impoverishing their content in the process.

In a broader sense (relating this back to the table headers debate), 
heuristics and specific markup constructs can live together in the same 
spec, imho. Knowledgeable authors will have the tools to be more 
explicit about relationships of content, while other authors can still 
ignore them (knowingly or not) and UAs/users can make a best guess at 
what the intended structure/fallback content/etc is.

P
-- 
Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Saturday, 28 July 2007 13:56:45 UTC

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