W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2009

Re: Design principles - building from justification

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 22:34:10 -0800
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <2939D750-52AE-4421-9341-FA8B03ADB4DE@apple.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>

On Feb 5, 2009, at 7:21 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> 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.)
> <joke>If HTML5 is a baby step, I'd hate to see what a full step  
> looks like.</joke>
> I think I know what you mean, you are thinking in these terms:
> http://html5.org/tools/web-apps-tracker

Actually, Ian's proposed Baby Steps principle was not about  
incremental development of the spec, or degree of difference from  
HTML4. Rather, it was a declaration that HTML5 should limit the scope  
of problems it solves, and not necessarily address every plausible use  
case in one go. I declined to add it to the Design Principles draft  
because at the time, it was not clear to me either that it added  
anything, or that it enjoyed the same level of agreement as the other  

For the record, here is what Ian proposed as the text for this  

"BabySteps: Not every content producer use case will be handled by  
HTML. We must draw a line just slightly beyond what can be done today,  
and not succomb to the tendency of feature creep.
* User agents need time to implement features, adding too many  
features at once results in poor, uninteroperable implementations,  
which results in a bad author experience.

* A language that does everything will result in a language with many  
features that are used by nearly nobody, yet that get in the way of  
all authors.

Example: The context menu features in HTML5 only allow for simple  
commands, radio buttons, and check boxes. We don't support colour  
pickers or text fields inside menus yet. While a future version of  
HTML might support those, we have to move slowly so that the quality  
of the spec and of implementations stays high.

Note that this principle has nothing to do with the users. While not  
every content producer use case will be taken into account, we should  
still cater for all users of documents and applications that use the  
language (see Universal Access)."

With regards to the rest of your message, I think most would agree  
that HTML5 is a fairly large leap from HTML4.01, on the whole.

Received on Friday, 6 February 2009 06:34:51 UTC

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