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Re: Documenting Web app assumptions, and HTML

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 2009 22:30:47 -0700
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <6BBB26BE-3DA5-4BA2-8F0D-DFDF3DF7C0E5@apple.com>
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>

On Jun 3, 2009, at 9:42 PM, Mark Baker wrote:

> Personally, I agree that this behaviour amoungst authors is prevalent
> and unavoidable, and I completely understand the desktop browser
> vendors' need to maintain this legacy behaviour.  I applaud them for
> working towards trying to make this behaviour more consistent between
> competing browsers too; I believe that is in the best interest of the
> Web.
> At the same time though (you knew that was coming 8-), as I've stated
> in slightly different ways several times before here, I think those
> vendors are doing a great disservice to the Web by baking these
> assumptions into a specification for the HTML language.  HTML is a
> language which has utility far beyond the reaches of the desktop
> browser (or even mobile browsers and search engines, for that matter)
> where many/most of those assumptions simply don't apply.

I have yet to hear a solid example of an important and widely used  
class of implementations that has no need to interoperate with  
browsers (even indirectly). Let alone a case where such  
implementations are actually hurt by the spec containing full  
conformance requirements needed to handle browser-targeted content.

People like to say that the Web is bigger than the browser. But the  
browser is by far the primary way in which most people experience the  
Web. We have many reasons to believe this, from usability studies, to  
traffic data that shows nearly all traffic on the public Web is due to  
browsers or search engines. So if other conformance classes wish to  
plead special needs, I think they have a pretty high burden of proof  
to show that they are actually hurt by full conformance requirements.

> I neither expect nor desire to rehash the same old arguments along
> these lines.  I just wanted this message to make the connection
> between this line of discussion and my position on what the HTML 5
> specification should and shouldn't contain.


Received on Thursday, 4 June 2009 05:31:26 UTC

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