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RE: Why Design Principles?

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 12:44:22 -0700
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8B62A039C620904E92F1233570534C9B0118CDA09BE5@nambx04.corp.adobe.com>
(have a few hours, sending a couple more posts)

I'm looking forward to a new version of the "Design Principles"
which includes new introductory material -- as you've indicated --
explaining the context and applicability of the principles.

I suggest you might want to be step away a bit from the comparison
with XHTML and the history of WhatWG. I think it is possible
to talk about the design principles of this group's efforts
without comparison, or imputed superiority with that of 
any other group.

>>> Many of the core ideas in the Design Principles date back to the  
>>> 2004 W3C Workshop on Web Applications and Compound Documents[2]
>>> and the schism that arose there. The W3C decided that the future  
>>> of the Web was a new Web based on XML + XHTML + SMIL + SVG + XForms  
>>> + CDF. Some dissenters, chiefly but not exclusively browser  
>>> vendors, felt that the right path forward was incremental  
>>> evolution on top of HTML + CSS + JS + DOM. This was based on  
>>> concerns over continuity, compatibility and so forth. Some of the  
>>> dissenters formed the WHATWG to carry on its vision.

The  "W3C decided that the future of the Web" seemed to imply
that a decision to work on something was a prediction of the future,
which would have been foolish.

It doesn't help to dramatize the events as a "schism", since many of the
WHATWG members also implemented SVG and (to some degree) XHTML
and XSLT as well as other kinds of web content.

I'd suggest something like:

< The genesis of the Design Principles can be traced back to
< a 2004 W3C Workshop on Web Applications and Compound Documents[2].
< Some of the participants in the workshop (chiefly browser vendors)
< felt that the future of the web should be an incremental 
< evolution on top of HTML + CSS + JS + DOM. This group formed
< the WHATWG to develop that vision, based on concerns over
< continuity, compatibility and so forth, as an alternative to
< the XML + XHTML + SMIL + SVG + XForms + CDF being pursued
< within the W3C.


----------------------------------
>>> In 2007, the W3C decided to return to work on HTML. The HTML  
>>> Working Group was formed.

I think "Decided to return to work" is again pejorative, and
could be rephrased to avoid the questionable implication
that W3C wasn't working on HTML before 2007, e.g.:

< In 2007, an agreement was reached between WHATWG and W3C to 
< work together on HTML, starting from the WHATWG document already
< under development. The W3C HTML was formed.


Larry
-- 
http://larry.masinter.net
Received on Wednesday, 3 June 2009 19:45:03 UTC

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