W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2008

Re: Why Microsoft's authoritative=true won't work and is a bad idea

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2008 23:22:54 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0807052306570.11210@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Sat, 5 Jul 2008, Sam Ruby wrote:
> 
> At the present time, four browsers give three different answers, one of 
> which matches the spec.  Changing the spec can't improve upon this 
> situation.

The spec is not really the point here. The point is interoperability. 
Clearly if browsers don't do the same thing as each other, we don't have 
interoperability and one or more browsers have to change. The spec will 
just change to whatever the browsers decide on. It can help bring the 
browsers together, but that's about it.


> There are only two workable solutions.  One is to declare that this
> combination of value for _official_ type and parameters and pattern
> detected in the content itself maps to a specific _sniffed type_, which
> would require at least two browsers to change.  Another is to declare that
> this combination is undefined, and thereby may vary based on the browser.

Having things vary by browser fails to achieve the only goal here, 
interoperability. So there's only one workable solution.


> If any variation of the former is pursued, there is no fundamental 
> difference between sniffing for one given HTTP parameter vs another.

I agree. So the key is to find a solution that can reach a steady state. 
The "I really mean it" parameter doesn't (since it will end up used on 
pages that aren't labelled correctly, and so other browsers won't support 
it as it would lead to them supporting fewer pages). The idea of having 
browsers converge on the common subset of what they already do to support 
the Web seems like the simplest way of reaching a steady state. That's 
what HTML5 is trying to do now.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Saturday, 5 July 2008 23:23:31 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:19 GMT