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

Re: Should we Publish a Language Specification?

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:36:06 -0800
Message-Id: <0ABB02AC-B0E8-4394-9A59-19CC72DB950C@apple.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

On Nov 24, 2008, at 2:27 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:

>> 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?
> I'm not sure why A would need to define those (for instance, it  
> would need to define just serializations that are valid, but not  
> handling of invalid documents).

A document can be nonconforming and yet still use only features that  
work the same served over file: with scripting disabled as served  
over http: with scripting enabled. So this certainly doesn't follow  
from your definition.

So let's amend your formulation to "conforming document that uses  
only features which work the same served over file: with scripting  
disabled as served over http: with scripting enabled". Or "conforming  
non-application HTML documents" for short.

The real problem with this subset of HTML documents is a small and  
uninteresting subset of the actual content on the Web. For example,  
out of the Alexa Top 100 Sites, zero fall into this subset (I checked  
them all, only took a few minutes). On the lists of Google PageRank 9  
and 10 pages I found, none of the sites I checked fell into this  
category (I only did a random sampling as there were many lists and  
they were long). In fact, I was not able to find a Web page that  
meets these criteria at all in about half an hour of searching  
through sites I visit regularly and links from them.

Why should we make a special spec for the kind of HTML Web content  
that apparently no one wants to create and no one wants to consume?  
Even more so, why should we do so when it will make it harder to  
correctly and precisely spec the real but theoretically impure  
content that real people care about?

Received on Monday, 24 November 2008 23:36:41 UTC

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