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

Re: Support Existing Content

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 09:12:17 -0700
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: Gareth Hay <gazhay@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <20070502161217.GA10204@ridley.dbaron.org>
On Wednesday 2007-05-02 09:06 +0100, Gareth Hay wrote:
> If an author is claiming to be writing HTML5 (possibly by  
> DOCTYPE="html5" or some such mechanism) why can we not hold the  
> author to that?
> If the page does not conform, is not well formed, an error is displayed.
> During the creation process of the page, the author will see this  
> error - long before it is released into the wild - and if they so  

One additional problem with this (that others haven't pointed out in
this thread) is that authors will start writing HTML5 before any
browsers start supporting it.  Then, if there are strict error
handling rules, the first browser to support those strict error
handling rules will suddenly "break" pages that previously worked.
Users won't want to use that browser, and it will lose users.

A little further down the road, we then might end up in a situation
where a bunch of browsers have implemented the strict error handing
rules, but the browser with the largest market share hasn't done so
yet.  At this point, more authors would start using the new format
to take advantage of its new features.  But some other authors would
copy the "best practice" template of what to put at the start of
their HTML file (including the version marker that triggers strict
error handling in some browsers), write a Web page, and test it only
in the majority browser that doesn't implement the strict error
handling rules.  This would cause even more frustration to the users
of the browsers that do implement the strict error handling rules.

If you want strict error handling rules, you need to introduce them
before anyone handles the content that they're for, which
essentially means before anybody handles the MIME type of the format
they're sent in.


L. David Baron                                <URL: http://dbaron.org/ >
           Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation

Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 16:12:25 UTC

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