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

Re: Should we Publish a Language Specification?

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 21:47:52 +0000 (UTC)
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0811242135290.17401@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Mon, 24 Nov 2008, Julian Reschke wrote:
> > 
> > Since HTML is an application markup language, I think it would make 
> > sense for its specification to treat it as such.
> It makes sense for the *set* of specifications defining it to treat it 
> as such. That doesn't imply it necessarily needs to be a single spec.

Then by the same argument, the argument you were making (that features 
should be in or out based on whether they are part of a document mmarkup 
language) similarly doesn't imply that the spec necessarily needs to be 
more than a single spec.

> > > I think the state of the web really doesn't affect that distinction, 
> > > and it's still a useful distinction to have.
> > 
> > I disagree. Is the HTML5 spec a document or an application?
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-html5-20080610/single-page/> appears to be 
> a document to me.

And this is an application?:


> > You didn't reply to my question. How do you draw the line between 
> > "document" and "application"?
> I've stated several times that I do agree that where to draw the line 
> exactly is tricky, and that different people will have different 
> preferences. That doesn't man that it doesn't make sense to draw the 
> line somewhere.
> Without having thought about it a lot, I would expect a document not to 
> require anything that wouldn't "work" when served from the local file 
> system, with scripting in the UA being disabled.

"work" how, in a Web browser? Do you mean indistinguishable behavior when 
compared to serving the same files to the same browser using http: with 
scripting enabled instead of file: with scripting disabled?

So is your proposal that we have one specification A that defines features 
that would work the same in a Web browser when served over file: with 
scripting disabled as when served over http: with scripting enabled, and 
one specification B for everything else? 

So for example would you want your A spec to include the definition of the 
browsing context, and the navigation algorithm, and the bulk of the 
parser, as well as the form controls, but your B spec to include the 
Window object, small parts of the parser that change under scripting, the 
DOM parts of elements, and form submission?

IMHO this would be an extremely weird split, which would cause inordinate 
amounts of pain.

Could you elaborate on why we should do this?

I'm not sure how the chairs want to proceed at this point, but I think 
that if the group is to adopt a proposal like yours, we will need a lot 
more detail as to exactly how you propose to split the spec, as well as a 
clear rationale.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 24 November 2008 21:48:29 UTC

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