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

Re: Support Existing Content

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 03:45:42 -0700
Message-Id: <CF229FBF-A553-4CE3-969B-58FC20617D9F@apple.com>
Cc: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, matt@builtfromsource.com, public-html@w3.org
To: Gareth Hay <gazhay@gmail.com>

On May 4, 2007, at 3:21 AM, Gareth Hay wrote:

> On 4 May 2007, at 11:03, James Graham wrote:
>> Gareth Hay wrote:
>>> On 4 May 2007, at 10:30, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>>> I think that the situation we have just now is untenable.
>>>> What's untenable about it? What is the actual harm of  
>>>> noncomforming content that you're trying to solve?
>>> You don't think tag-soup is harmful at all?
>> That's not an answer. Can you _please_ try answering the questions  
>> people ask you (I tried asking several, most of which were  
>> ignored). They are not intended rhetoric but an attempt to  
>> ascertain the technical motivation behind your position. If you  
>> keep avoiding them, it is hard not to feel that your position is  
>> not based on technical reasoning but in a set of rigid axiomatic  
>> beliefs, making the whole discussion rather pointless.
> It is an answer, maybe not the one you /want/ unless you want me  
> to  take Option #2.
> Why does there need to be a technical motivation behind my position.

The job of working groups is to make technical decisions based on  
facts and logic. If your position has no technical motivation, then I  
do not see why others should consider it. I've done my best to get it  
out of you, but if it's really not based on any actual technical  
considerations, then I don't see how the group can possibly judge it  
as compared to other proposals.

> I think I have explained my position over and over and over, and / 
> I/ think that it is the other side that is failing to see my  
> reasoning.

That's because you refuse to state your reasoning. You're asserting  
that nonconforming content, or tag soup, or invalid content, whatever  
you want to call it, is harmful. But you haven't stated what the harm  

> Maciej has hypothesised that people will be harmed by error  
> handling in a "draconian" method.
> I have tried to explain and explain and explain that I don't think  
> this reasoning is correct, as problems are caught at source and  
> solved.

My claim isn't just a hypothesis, it is based on actual experience  
with end users being exposed to the effects of draconian error  
handling, because problems haven't all been caught at the source and  
solved. You have hypothesized that this could change, but haven't  
really explained how it would change, or why such a change would be  

> To go back to the original q
>>>> What's untenable about it? What is the actual harm of  
>>>> noncomforming content that you're trying to solve?
> Non-confirming content /is/ the harm.

That's just a circular argument.

Suppose I came in here and said the <p> tag was bad, and we have to  
remove it from the language and prevent authors from using it.  
Suppose further that when someone asked me what's the harm of having  
it, I said that <p> itself is the harm. You would probably think this  
was a silly argument. But you are making a similar argument yourself.  
Maybe this would be a good time to reexamine your assumptions.

> I have also asked several questions with an aim to reaching  
> consensus, but these seem to be ignored in favour of trying to beat  
> down my position, again.
> As requested before, could we actually have some sort of survey to  
> establish the numbers behind the various kinds of error handling  
> proposed?
> /please/

An opinion poll is no substitute for reasoned arguments backed by facts.

Received on Friday, 4 May 2007 10:45:47 UTC

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