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Re: some thoughts on objections to publishing ""HTML 5 differences from HTML 4"

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 15:47:38 -0500
Message-Id: <6242FA7E-60E4-48CE-BAE6-BE39ADE04096@robburns.com>
Cc: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>

On Jun 29, 2007, at 2:14 PM, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> I also recommend renaming the Dropped Elements and Dropped  
> Attributes sections to Omitted Elements and Omitted Attributes,  
> respectively. Dropped seems to give the wrong impression that the  
> listed features will never be included in the spec, resulting in  
> people asking for rationale, whereas omitted would make it more  
> clear that it represents the current state of the spec.  Some of  
> them may be included in the future.  You could also add a note to  
> each of those sections stating that some of the features may be  
> included in a future revision of HTML5.

A larger problem is that "Drropped" or "Omitted" are still referring  
to two different types of facilities in the language: 1) those that  
have (presumably through careful consideration by the WhatWG, but not  
the HTML WG), been deemed unnecessary (for whatever reason). and 2)  
those that have not yet been considered for inclusion (not "dropped"  
nor "omitted", just not yet "considered").

For the first group, little rationale is required for omitting  
presentational facilities (with the exception of the @style  
attribute). Most of us on the WG and even in the general public  
audience for this document will not be surprised by that. We  
understand the rationale. However, on the semantic facilities, there  
is a need to at least reach an understanding within the WG for why  
these would be dropped (especially before publishing a "differences"  
note). This is again why this document does not reflect the heartbeat  
of this WG.

The s second group, those that have just not been considered yet,  
should be clearly differentiated in anything we publish. They should  
certainly not be lumped together with facilities that will actually  
be omitted.

Finally, the "differences" document fails to make clear an issue that  
I'm not even sure has been adequately communicated to the WG itself.  
That issue is the meaning of omitted as an author non-conformity and  
not having anything to do with implementation conformity. IN other  
words we should make it clear that the omission (I'm talking about  
group 1 from above) of facilities is merely them as not-best practice  
(deprecated seems like the best word for it so I'm not sure why we're  
going out of our way to avoid that word). Authors can continue using  
those facilities (indeed may need to continue using those facilities  
until HTML5 UAs come online: e.g., @style attribute needs to be used  
until scoped <style> becomes available for targeted UAs ). I think  
this is not well understood within the  WG (I wouldn't be surprised  
to see objections to what I just wrote from all "sides") and until it  
is we can clarify this amongst ourselves and reach some understanding  
than I don't think we have any business publishing public document  
that will simply spread the confusion to a wider audience.

Take care,
Received on Friday, 29 June 2007 20:47:47 UTC

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