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Design principles - building from justification

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 22:05:59 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0902052200430.952@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Thu, 5 Feb 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
> An alternate way to describe the development of HTML 5 to date is that 
> it has been developed starting from zero, includes only features that 
> are deemed necessary to meet presented and accepted use cases, and 
> operates under the rather significant constraint that such a spec, if 
> followed by implementers, won't break the web.

This is indeed the way the spec has been written. One could call this 
"building from justification". I would quite like this to be added to the 
design principles, if we are to reopen that discussion. (The other 
principle that I'd like added is "baby steps", which I suggested before we 
published the last draft, though it wasn't added for some reason.)

Incidentally, the "building from justification" design that we've used 
with HTML5 so far explains why I disagree that anything has been 
"dropped". It might be quibbling semantics, but (for example) summary="" 
wasn't dropped from HTML5, it was never added. (The profile="" attribute 
actually _was_ dropped: an early draft had detailed conformance criteria 
for it, but it was removed in the face of solid data indicating it didn't 
actually solve the use cases presented and convincing arguments that it 
wasn't really necessary.)

> I don't know about others, but I think that exercise and approach has 
> been, and continues to be, useful.  And I believe it should continue for 
> the moment.
> I'm not convinced, however, that such an approach will prove anywhere 
> near as useful as we progress towards Candidate Recommendation.  In 
> fact, it probably needs to be abandoned before Last Call.

Could you elaborate on this?

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 5 February 2009 22:06:34 UTC

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