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Re: Design Principles, Section 1.6.1 relationship to HTML 4.01

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 23:12:08 +0200
Message-ID: <4A244428.7090604@malform.no>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Ian Hickson On 09-06-01 21.15:
> On Mon, 1 Jun 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> On Sun, 31 May 2009, Laura Carlson wrote:
>>>> Principles that use wishy-washy rhetoric are not 
>>>> principles at all. They are judgment calls, completely 
>>>> subjective to the personal opinion of the person invoking
>>>>  the principle or authoring the spec.
>>> Welcome to language design.
>> Ian, in an attempt to make the conversation more productive:
>>  I take your answer as basic agreement with Laura that the 
>> current Design Principles document does not meet the goals 
>> stated in the Introduction of that document, as the goals it
>>  sets for itself are basically unattainable.
>> 
>> Is this what you wish to convey?  If not, can you clarify 
>> what you do mean?

[...]

> I think that it is ridiculous to think that language design can
>  ever be based on strict objective rules,

"Clear language" and "strict objective rules" are not synonyms.

> and I do not think that the design guidelines

"guidelines" or "principles"?

> claim that this is what is attempted (indeed quite the 
> opposite). In fact, that's what the term "design principles" 
> means.

You are mixing "clear" and "strict" here as well. Clear and simple
principles are inclusive. Or as Maciej put it[1]:

>> *sheesh*
>> 
>> I am really tired of people using "argument from authority" 
>> as an excuse for being clueless.
> 
> It's not an excuse for being clueless. It's point out that you
>  can't just say "that's the way it is because I have 50 billion
>  years of experience building intergalatic flux capacitor 
> widgets".

[ AKA your "welcome to language design" ]

> As a recognized authority you may find this tiresome, but in a
> standards body we have to use logically valid reasoning. No
> kings or presidents, etc etc.

Such a vision leaves no room for convoluted principles.

To allow the principles to be stated more simply, clearly and
understandable, one could eventually have had a separate section
with the "if-s" and "but-s" and "but if-s" - basically some
principles for how to use the principles/guidelines.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009May/0571.html
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 1 June 2009 21:12:48 GMT

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