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Re: An HTML language specification vs. a browser specification

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 22:45:14 -0600
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <B8D33978-4670-4FD3-B070-75564C128E60@robburns.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Hi Maciej,

On Nov 14, 2008, at 8:56 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> On Nov 14, 2008, at 4:35 PM, Robert J Burns wrote:
>>>> The parsing algorithm and the HTML vocabulary parts of the spec  
>>>> suffer because we don't have spec editors who sufficiently  
>>>> understand those parts.
>>> Uh...  We have spec editors who understand the parsing algorithm  
>>> far better than anyone else I can think of, since they've spent a  
>>> good bit of time studying how browsers actually parse HTML.  So I  
>>> don't know where the "don't have spec editors who sufficiently  
>>> understand those parts" meme comes from.
>> From many months of discussing these topics.
> Ian Hickson is one of the world's top experts on HTML parsing. In  
> addition to this, he has had direct input from other HTML parsing  
> experts, including those responsible for the currently shipping HTML  
> parsers of various browsers. In addition, the spec is informed by  
> extensive reverse engineering of browser parsing behavior, and study  
> the actual source code of the parsers of at least two of the top  
> four browser engines.
> I don't understand how you can say expertise is lacking in this  
> area, or who could plausibly be said to have more. Can you give an  
> example of the kind of expert we should have involved in this area,  
> but don't?

I didn't intend to cause such a reaction. I thought it was clear that  
the strengths of the current editor was in the area of browser  
behavior (and not so much parsing and certainly not HTML authoring  
vocabulary). TAG and others have wondered whether the work on HTML 5  
could benefit from some division of labor and I simply wanted to  
suggest that those three areas would be a great way to modularize this  
effort. If we were to follow that approach, i think Ian should remain  
the editor of the browser behavior draft. The other two areas (parsing  
and vocabulary) could go to other editors. Again, I didn't intend to  
insult anyone on this, I thought the holes in the WG's efforts in  
these other two areas were already discussed at length. Breaking the  
draft and the WG up into these three separate efforts with two new  
editing teams would be one way to address the problems.

Take care,
Received on Saturday, 15 November 2008 04:46:11 UTC

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