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Re: ISSUE-53: mediatypereg - suggest closing on 2009-09-03

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 16:21:08 -0700
Message-Id: <A32DC32B-148A-4707-8642-A22CD7F181DB@gbiv.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
On Aug 25, 2009, at 3:35 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Aug 25, 2009, at 3:27 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>> On Aug 24, 2009, at 11:42 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>
>>>> I don't think that section 12.2 satisfies the issue.  What is wrong
>>>> with defining the elements and attributes where an implementor of
>>>> "text/html" is going to need to know about them and simply mark  
>>>> those
>>>> features as deprecated?  For example, <a name> has required  
>>>> processing
>>>> associated with it, so why not just define that under <a>?
>>>>
>>>
>>> As an implementor, I think the required processing is  
>>> sufficiently defined,
>>>
>>
>> As an implementor of content management systems, HTML generators,
>> and link management tools, I do not consider it defined at all.
>
> Content management systems and HTML generators should not output  
> the name attribute. They should use id instead. That much is  
> stated. What else do they need to know? I don't know what link  
> management tools would want to do with <a name>; if you can give  
> some examples it might be easier to see what is missing.


Real content management systems are like fine-grained mash-up
systems.  Sometimes the input is legacy and is farmed out in
various formats.  Sometimes the output is legacy (sequence of
bytes provided to the public must not change) even though the
inputs have been "managed" into more reusable parts.  Both the
input and the output are valid "text/html" even if neither is
conforming HTML5.

>> HTML 4.01 spec has attribute definitions.  HTML5 draft does not.
>
> That doesn't really clarify anything for me, I'm afraid.
>
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/links.html#h-12.2
>> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-a-element
>
> See the last paragraph before the note in this section (starting  
> with "Authors should not specify..."):
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#obsolete-but- 
> conforming-features
>
> Can you clarify why what HTML4.01 says is a definition, but that  
> paragraph is not?

HTML5 draft says (in a section about validators):

    Authors should not specify the name attribute on a elements.
    If the attribute is present, its value must not be the empty string.
    In earlier versions of the language, this attribute served a similar
    role as the id attribute. The id attribute should be used instead.

HTML 4.01 says (in the section on <a>):

    Attribute definitions
      name = cdata[CS]
        This attribute names the current anchor so that it may be the
        destination of another link. The value of this attribute must
        be a unique anchor name. The scope of this name is the current
        document. Note that this attribute shares the same name space
        as the id attribute.

HTML5 draft doesn't define what the attribute means -- it only says
it once had a role similar to id.  It doesn't specify that its value
must be a unique anchor name, which is a significant statement for
link checking software that verifies such things as destinations.
It doesn't specify that it shares the same name space as the id
attributes, which again is significant for both link checkers
and content management.  Moreover, what it does say about the
subject is placed far away from where a reader would be expected
to look up a definition for this funky "name" attribute they
happened to see on an anchor in some "text/html".

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 23:21:33 GMT

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