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Scope of HTML5...

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2009 10:14:38 -0400
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.uyapuoegwxe0ny@widsith.local>
Ian wrote...

> Pages that are not part of the Web do not need to use a standard 
> interoperable across the entire Web, they can use proprietary formats.
[...]
> Controlled environments are not, and should not be, a particularly
> important concern in the development of a world-wide vendor-neutral
> standard.

Which is not how I understand HTML5, the Web, or the relevance of
standards.

As I understand things, W3C is developing HTML5 as a new version of the
language that underpins a huge amount of communication. It also underpins
various industries, from advertising to the development of publishing
software, browsers, information management tools, and more.

Whether the information handled by this infrastructure is private or
public doesn't matter - indeed, a standard which is only used in public
spaces would be a far less useful standard. Huge amounts of information -
including most of what I work with every day - are not public, yet rely on
the same standards as the public web, and one reason for the success of
web technology has been its ability to serve the needs of intranets as
well as public usage. We should be making standards for the whole web, not
just some segment that we can easily see - especially when many of us have
direct and ongoing experience of using more than the "public web".

It seems that even Ian's position on this isn't entirely solid. For ages
the spec had, as an example of justification for not making accessible
content, the case of a private message between two people. This explicitly
non-public content was held relevant enough to include in the spec as
justification for a controversial assertion.

I hope that this assertion of Ian's is just a lapse of his usual careful
thinking, a quick and ill-considered rhetorical point, rather than a
serious expression of how he is making decisions. Likewise I hope that the
working group in general does consider the Web to embrace not just the
things indexed by Google and regurgitated by them to sell advertising, but
also the contents of issue management systems used inside Opera (which is
published in HTML, even though we don't give the whole world access to
it), the vast body of information on the W3C website that is only
accessible to W3C members, or just to the Team, the course content and
student management systems at Carlos III University in Madrid, and the
rest of the massive amount of information that is not on the "Public Web",
but takes advantage of the standards that underpin a useful technology to
provide better service more efficiently in myriad ways around the world.

In short, I hope that not even Ian really believes what he wrote above.

The fact that there is a lot of information which is not readily
susceptible to analysis of Google datasets (or the MAMA dataset or
anything else harvested from the public web) might make our job a little
more difficult, but I think we are here precisely to make a standard that
can be used both publicly and privately, and that the suitability of Web
technology in general, and in this case HTML 5 in particular, for use in
controlled environments *is* an important concern for this group.

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
             je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 7 August 2009 14:15:22 GMT

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