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Re: Versioning re-visited (was : mixed signals on "Writing HTML documents", tutorial, etc.)

From: Craig Francis <craig@synergycms.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2007 14:18:40 +0100
Message-Id: <5ABFDD3E-228E-4C29-8DD7-0A85EB20B629@synergycms.com>
Cc: Philip & Le Khanh <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>, Stephen Stewart <beowulf@carisenda.com>, "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>, HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

On 21 Jun 2007, at 23:22, Ian Hickson wrote:
> Versioned implementations also increases the implementationa and  
> testing
> cost of writing a Web browser, which reduces the likelihood that a  
> browser
> will be fully compliant. Given how hard it is to get browsers to be
> compliant in the first place, we want to reduce any barrier to that  
> goal.

Adding a version does not necessarily mean that a browser needs to  
look at that information... but it does mean that information is  
there if required (for what ever reason I cannot think of at the  

Personally, I am taking the view that HTML should be parsed by the  
browser as HTML, irrispective of version... its up to them if they  
want to act on the version number... the real benefit of the version  
though is for the author to claim compliance with a specification  
(not one which may or may not exist in the future... like HTML-100).

Given your example of the <credit> tag, where the meaning was to  
change from a money value to the name of the author... well I should  
hope that this will never happen, as it would show huge incompetentcy  
on the part of those writing the specification.

A better example is perhaps over the table @summary attribute...  
currently writing for HTML4, this is perfectly valid, and even  
encouraged... but at the moment, HTML5 will not include this  
attribute... does that mean that all tables (with tabular data) that  
use the @summary attribute, are now invalid... even though they are  
written in HTML4?

How about we just go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"  
theory, and keep the version number... the browser does not need to  
use it (not that they do at the moment) but it is additional  
information which can be useful for some user agents (validators?).

Received on Saturday, 23 June 2007 13:20:45 UTC

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