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Re: An HTML language specification

From: John Kemp <john.kemp@nokia.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:21:45 -0500
Message-ID: <492AE2A9.1030200@nokia.com>
To: ext Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

ext Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Sun, 23 Nov 2008, John Kemp wrote:
>> OK, that sounds as if the processing requirements for each conformance 
>> class could be in one (or more) separate documents from the language 
>> syntax specification.
> 
> Well, some of the conformance classes need the language syntax 
> requirements. For example, a WYSIWYG editor would need to know both the 
> syntax and vocabulary conformacne requirments, to output valid documents, 
> as well as the parsing and rendering requirements, to show the right 
> output. Similarly, a conformance checker's implementation requirements are 
> a combination of both the language conformance rules and some separate 
> implementation conformance rules (e.g. the parsing rules).

Sure, that makes sense.

> 
> Would having one or more "views" of a single specification work for you? 

Perhaps ;)

> That is, having the HTML5 spec be what it is now, but having ways to 
> filter out the parts that aren't appropriate? We could, for instance, have 
> a set of checkboxes at the start of the document that allow the reader to 
> say which parts they want to see -- just the vocabulary, just the 
> scripting APIs, all the requirments that apply to non-script UAs, etc.

Some questions, then:

i) Is it possible for someone to take one (or more, but fewer than the 
entire spec.) part of HTML5 and implement it cleanly while ignoring the 
parts of the specification that aren't relevant to them?
ii) Related to i) is whether it is possible for the language of HTML5 to 
be reused in a way that isn't covered in existing conformance classes? 
What happens if you decide to add a new conformance class? If another 
specification were to wish to reuse HTML5 would there be a way to 
reference only the language without a requirement to reuse any of the 
existing conformance classes?
iii) Is it possible to edit one section of the specification without 
affecting (heavily) another section of the specification? Essentially, 
does one section of the document provide an "API" to be used by other 
sections of the document?

My general interest is in re-usability of specification components, 
independent of the rest of the specification components - the most 
important of those (to me) being the HTML5 language itself.

Regards,

- johnk
Received on Monday, 24 November 2008 17:27:34 UTC

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