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Re: Is "breaking the Web" with HTML 5 a non issue?

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 14:25:08 -0400
Message-ID: <48D7E304.1010602@mit.edu>
To: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
CC: "'Andrew Sidwell'" <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk>, public-html@w3.org

Justin James wrote:
> Then let's throw out DOCTYPE.

That's basically the current spec, yes.

> By continuing to include
> the DOCTYPE farce, we are just giving innocent HTML authors like myself the
> false belief that their code will be interpreted as they expect it to be.

The only reason that there is a doctype anything in HTML5 is so that 
HTML5 pages will be treated in standards mode in downrev UAs (every 
single UA on the market right now, for example).

> So what? They already have the existing parsers, all they have to do is
> include new parsers, which they would need to write anyways. In a nutshell,
> this is asking for the addition of 1 - 10 lines of code at the beginning of
> the parser, to perform the toggle.

Plus shipping two separate parsers, no?  The goal here is to NOT have to 
maintain multiple parsers, complete with increased attack surface, etc.

Also, how would you trigger the toggle in your proposal?  That is, how 
would you flag HTML5 content?

> So far, you have not really said *why* this is not a good idea

Which "this"?  Bloating code and increasing attack surface to implement 
multiple distinct parsing models?  Or something else?

> The alternative is to be
> beholden to mistakes people made 15 years ago.

We're always beholden to the way the world is.  And yes, mistakes people 
made 15 years ago contribute to the state of the world.  Plenty of 
non-HTML examples here if you care.

> I thought that a "fresh
> beginning" was a lot of what HTML 5 was supposed to be about; the new error
> handling items certainly hammer that point home.

It's a "fresh beginning compatible with the existing web", unlike, say, 
the XHTML2 flavor of fresh beginning.

Received on Monday, 22 September 2008 18:26:29 UTC

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