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Re: Design Principles

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 25 May 2009 16:53:36 +0200
To: "Leif Halvard Silli" <lhs@malform.no>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.uuhqbmef64w2qv@annevk-t60>
On Mon, 25 May 2009 16:38:09 +0200, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no> wrote:
> So perhaps that principle should be augmented by a clause that says so?

Yeah, maybe.

>> Larry suggested on IRC yesterday that the Origin header may be such an  
>> example. I haven't entirely thought that through yet but did note that  
>> Origin came from somewhere else.
> Actually, it is difficult to say if the cow path principle has been  
> followed or not as it only says that cow paths should be /considered/.

It was in the context of the Evolution versus Revolution design principle.

> [...]
> What you insist on is a process thing or a way of thinking: "we the  
> WHATwg" wanted to look at HTML with fresh eyes and we claim to have done  
> what we set forth doing. You think that by following this methodology  
> you, the WHATwg, followed the ideal method for finding out "how HTML  
> needs to evolve", as you put it below. Others might not agree that  this  
> was the best or only way to find out how HTML needs to evolve.

I'm not sure it's ideal and I'm not sure I'm insisting on it either. It's simply the way HTML5 was written. I do think HTML5 turned out a lot better than HTML4/DOM2HTML/XHTML1 so maybe there's something to be said for this methodology.

> Personally, I even find it a naïve methodology. It might work as a  
> "working morale" but I find it naïve to use it to convince others about  
> anything else but your working morale. There is no method for evaluating  
> whether that  principle has been followed or not. It is, in the end, an  
> extremely theoretical point of view.

How is it theoretical?

> This working group has no agreement about looking at HTML as if HTML 4  
> never existed. In fact, we disagree all the time about what weight to  
> put on the fact that something exists in HTML 4. And in reality it is  
> not the whether something existed or not in HTML 4 that has ended up  
> being a problem, but whether WHATwg at some point has added or removed  
> something to/from HTML 5 or not.

There's some disagreement over a few HTML4 features. By and large I think the group is in agreement over the other features. I haven't seen anything to the contrary anyway.

The design principles do not really appear to help in these discussions, but I think in the latest iterations they have not really been used as verbatim either so they're not a huge problem either.

>>> I agree with Sam that we have an editor works more as an author than  
>>> as  an editor. Is this in the design principles? Is Ian's words about  
>>> how  this group will not ever be consensus based as long has he is  
>>> editor in  the principles?
>> That seems more about process than how HTML needs to evolve.
> The cow path principle is quite process oriented: "consider cow paths".

It certainly requires you to do something (figuring out what authors do), but that seems a vastly different thing from how the specification is being edited.

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Monday, 25 May 2009 14:54:53 UTC

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