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

Re: Error handling and legacy content

From: Gareth Hay <gazhay@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 10:00:43 +0100
Message-Id: <0F22D18A-0167-40A6-A4DB-BBFA19F4495E@gmail.com>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>

On 2 May 2007, at 09:18, Anne van Kesteren wrote:

>
> I have a hard time understanding what people actually have against  
> handling legacy content. This doesn't affect authors. Authors are  
> currently not allowed to write "<em> <strong> </em>" and HTML5 will  
> not allow them to that either. (Also, to be clear, HTML5 defines  
> what authors, user agents, scripting enabled user agents, scripting  
> disabled user agents, interactive user agents, non-interactive user  
> agents, etc. have to do. It's certainly not just "desktop browsers".)
>
There is a world of a difference from "it's best practice not to  
write" and "it doesn't work if you write it like that".
Authors will /never/ stop writing tag soup unless there is some  
barrier there. I suggest that HTML5 should present this barrier.
By all means support legacy content written in bad ways, but don't  
support html5 written in bad ways.
That is my point.

> [...]
>
> Yet another option is leaving it undefined what happens when you  
> face non-conforming content. You could crash, you could do the same  
> as what you did for the previous version of HTML, stop rendering,  
> etc. If you don't step away from that soon you effectively kill the  
> language I think, unless user agents reverse engineer the market  
> leader (as history has shown for HTML, CSS, SVG). Because when you  
> don't define what happens with non-conforming content it becomes  
> really hard to introduce extensions to the language. Introducing  
> versioning as solution for the extensibility creates the problem  
> that it's unclear what new content will do in older versions.
>
I have proposed here that non-conforming-content is not rendered.  
This is not leaving it undefined.
If you declare that something is compliant with a standard, and it is  
not, then that is the authors fault.
You also mentioned in another post about auto-generated content.  
Again, it is the responsibility of the authors of that software to  
make sure their code conforms (lotus domino anyone?).
>
> What would help me a lot I think is people proposing specifically  
> what they would like and how they would solve the issues. To me it  
> seems that some people just argue against things which may  
> initially sound like a bad idea, without actually thinking about  
> why it was done that way. Believe it or not, a lot of the stuff in  
> the WHATWG drafts has a pretty solid rationale and wasn't just some  
> idea written down on a Sunday afternoon.
>
Well, I think I have made my point.
It appears that there is a great resistance amongst people with  
differing interests in html to listen to this side of the argument,  
and they simple dismiss it.

I think, in particular, that the browser vendors have made their  
stance clear. They are not even inclined to think about this  
approach, and in that regard, I think I am banging my head against a  
very large brick wall, with maybe only one or 2 others.

With that in mind, I feel I may just have to walk away from the  
process altogether, I'm sure as a relative newcomer this would be no  
loss to discussions such as this, and make a lot of people's lives  
easier with regards to the spec. I had hoped for a welcoming approach  
to fresh eyes on the problems discussed here and on WHATWG, but that  
is far from what I have experienced, being belittled and dismissed at  
nearly every turn, it's a shame.

Thanks

Gareth
Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 09:00:54 GMT

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