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Re: HTML is a declarative mark-up language

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 10:46:02 +0100
Message-ID: <49817ADA.9090707@malform.no>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: "Roy T.Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Henri Sivonen 2009-01-29 09.05:
> On Jan 29, 2009, at 03:47, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>> On Jan 28, 2009, at 2:11 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> On Wed, 28 Jan 2009, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
       [...]
>>>>  There is considerable  value in defining what is valid HTML
>>>> for both what-goes-over-the-wire and what gets rendered on a browser.
>>>
>>> You've said this before, but you never replied to the last e-mail I sent
>>> on the thread trying to work out what made you believe this:
>>>
>>>   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Nov/0420.html

Yeah, what is it that make some "*believe*" that there would be 
considerable value in defining what is a valid HTML ...?

>> I didn't reply to it because there seemed no point.  You say that it
>> doesn't require DOM, CSS, or scripting, yet the entire spec is
>> defined in terms of the effect on DOM, the impact of CSS, and the
>> behavior of scripting.  If you try to read the spec from the perspective
>> of someone whose implementation does not have a DOM, for whom CSS
>> is an entirely orthogonal concept because there is no rendering or
>> presentation being implemented, and for which scripting is irrelevant,
>> then I think you will discover that HTML5 as currently drafted doesn't
>> even define the base mark-up.  That is not an unusual perspective.
> 
> I have tried this, and what I discovered was different from what you say 
> you think one would discover.

So, in your view it does "define the base mark-up"?

30 minutes after this letter you wrote about the draft that "(It 
isn't optimized for developing a validator, either, but it seems 
pretty obvious that optimizing it for validator developers 
wouldn't be a good use of the WG's resources.)"

And may be the spec doesn't need to be optimised for HTML guide 
authors either. They can treat HTML 5 as a black box too, and just 
read HTML 4 etc for the things that are obviously lacking in HTML 
5. And in general. Authors can dig.

The amusing thing is that in all its "we built HTML 5 from 
scratch", because of all the things it doesn't define, it is very 
dependent on the past.

> I develop an HTML5 consumer that doesn't have a DOM (or any other tree 
> data structure for representing the document tree), doesn't have a style 
> system (CSS or other) and doesn't run scripts. The consumer I develop is 
> an HTML5 validator and, as such, has everything to do with "base 
> markup". Yet, I'm quite able to extract the information I need from the 
> HTML 5 spec.

So you are not under the "belief" that there is "considerable 
value in defining what is a valid HTML".

> Please note that consumers that don't run <script>s need to implement 
> the operational requirements defined in terms of the DOM in a black 
> box-equivalent way. They aren't required to add an actual DOM.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 29 January 2009 09:46:47 GMT

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