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Re: Rethinking HTML 5 (Was: Re: Semicolon after entities)

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 18:56:50 +0100
Message-ID: <46377F62.40204@cam.ac.uk>
To: "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Philip Taylor (Webmaster) wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> Jeff Cutsinger wrote:
> 
>>> And what does it really mean ? That a document
>>> written in HTML5 will display  "correctly" in
>>> browsers that are HTML5-unaware ?
>>
>> Yes.
> 
> If the browsers are HTML5-unaware, then their
> behaviour in the presence of (new) HTML5 elements
> is unpredictable to say the least.  The probability
> that such a docment will display "correctly"
> (no matter how you choose to define "correctly")
> is vanishingly small.

That would be a relevant argument if HTML5 were designed at the top of an ivory 
tower, taking no account of extant HTML UA implementations. If, instead of doing 
that, we do the work out in the real world where it is possible to test 
suggested improvements in current UAs, we can beat those apparently overwhelming 
odds; it is simply a case of testing suggestions in existing UAs to determine 
how well they degrade. If a particular construct cannot be made to degrade 
gracefully, we look for a different means to acomplish the feature that can.

>> Really, if you're so stuck on this, the WHATWG
>> standard allows you to use XML! Or use XHTML 1.0 or 1.1 with the
>> application/xhtml+xml mimetype. Or try out XHTML 2.0.
> 
> No thank you, I want to use HTML5, where HTML5 is derived
> from HTML 4.01 Strict rather than from something that looks
> more like HTML 3.2 as modified by a committee.

I'm impressed... how do you know what HTML5 looks like? It hasn't been completed 
yet! I hazard that you're exprapolating from "support existing content" to "make 
every feature ever used in a HTML document conformant in new documents", which 
is a fallacy. There have been at least two posts today explaining the difference 
between UA conformance (where handling of old constructs like <plaintext> should 
be defined in order to allow interoperability) and document conformance (which 
need not mention obsolete features except under the general class of 
unrecognised tags/attributes).

-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 17:58:29 GMT

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