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Re: Comments on HTML WG face to face meetings in France Oct 08

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 05:18:11 -0800
Message-ID: <4922C093.7030307@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> It sounds like, based on your statements, there would be no 
> specification or set of specifications that define how Boris's document 
> should be processed, even if it were syntactically correct XML. We 
> certainly want to avoid HTML being underspecified in this way.
> 

Exactly. There SHOULD be specifications that define how HTML 5 MAY be 
processed for certain use cases. However this is very different from 
specifying how HTML SHOULD or MUST be processed.

Furthermore one SHOULD distinguish between processing, behavior, and 
semantics. These are three different things. HTML (1-4 and XHTML) is 
really a spec about semantics. The syntax has been SGML or XHTML. The 
processing and the display have been left up to the consumer. DOM is one 
possible processing model that some clients have adopted.  This has 
always been a little fuzzy, and display and syntax have tended to get 
mixed into the semantic soup, but it's been more true than not.

HTML 5, though, is trying to define everything in one huge document; 
syntax, semantics, object model, and even some rendering rules. XHTML's 
mistake was that it did too little: all syntax, nothing else. HTML 5's 
mistake is that it is doing far too much. :-(

-- 
Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321503635/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 13:18:55 UTC

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