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Re: HTML 4.02

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 14:04:39 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0908231204n1da2345fx5b5795ddd90162c2@mail.gmail.com>
To: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 12:44 PM, Toby Inkster<tai@g5n.co.uk> wrote:
> The HTML 4.02 specification is here:
> http://doctype.be/402.html
> It's 13 lines long, including the heading.

To be fair, that's only because you've left out some things that would
be necessary to actually have an unambiguous, coherent spec.

> Features:
> * RDFa
> * ARIA

You've omitted any discussion of how ARIA interacts with existing HTML
semantics.  A real-world AT will have to cope with documents that do
not have every element specifying its ARIA role, and so much assume
default semantics for unlabelled elements.  How do you deal with
clashes in default semantics and manually specified ARIA semantics?

> * Ruby
> * a few other nice bits from other (X)HTML specs

What problems are being solved by these nice bits?  What criteria did
you have for what to include and exclude?  Is there any evidence that
the problems you chose to solve are actually solved by the bits you've
included?  Some of the bits seem unclear themselves on what they are
supposed to be solving, and how they're supposed to be doing it.

> * DTD validation (though doesn't cope with xmlns:*)

So can it be DTD validated or not?  If not, is there any real benefit
from having it be DTD-validatable only sometimes?  If not, is there
any benefit in having the DTD at all?

Overall it doesn't seem too controversial, but it also doesn't seem
very useful.  Several of the features are very unclear on how they are
to be used or how to handle conflicts with existing html mechanisms,
rendering them difficult or impossible to use in practice.  It also
lacks the punch of sexy features that would sell a spec to the general
public.

~TJ
Received on Sunday, 23 August 2009 19:05:40 GMT

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