W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2010

Re: comments on 'private use' section of proposal - Sanity check

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 09:51:21 -0400
To: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: "Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis" <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "HTMLWG WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.vf3ffvprwxe0ny@widsith.local>
On Sun, 18 Jul 2010 12:42:21 -0400, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>  

> On Jul 18, 2010, at 6:45 AM, Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> . An image in an e-mail or private document intended for a  
>> specific person who is known to be able to view images
>> The private email exception does not apply to  apply to a class of  
>> authoring tools, it only applies if you send a private email to a  
>> person or people who you know can see the image.
>> So depending on who I send it to, will decide if it is conforming or  
>> non conforming so unless the email client provides the ability for me  
>> to add a text alternative it WILL allow non conforming documents to be  
>> published.
> One thing that's not entirely clear to me is why the private  
> communication exception is needed, given the generator exception. It  
> seems to me that mail clients producing HTML should include the  
> generator meta tag. This seems simpler than relying on a manual setting  
> in the conformance checker.
> It seems the only additional case covered by the private communication  
> exception is hand-authored HTML sent as email. While I won't claim this  
> never happens, I would guess it is extremely rare, and perhaps such a  
> narrow use case does not need special handling. (There is also the  
> possibility of non-email hand-authored HTML documents being exchanged  
> with a known fixed audience, but this too seems like a very rare  
> scenario.)

Actually, I exchange hand-authored HTML all the time. For example, I write  
slides in HTML, and then present them to an audience to whom I don't  
actually give a copy of the slides. So I know that the presentation of the  
slides is the only time anyone will interact with them.

Equally, I write content for a small audience - HTML is a rich document  
format, just like OpenOffice/Word etc, or PDF. Since I work on the format,  
and software for it, and since it is easy to create and easy to read  
anywhere, I find it natural to use it whenever plain text is insufficient.  
So I exchange documents all the time in hand-written HTML (as well as  
tool-generated HTML) with known audiences.

But hand-authoring HTML email? I have never heard of someone doing that. I  
presume it is possible, but I don't know of any software that supports it  
and I don't know of anyone who uses /usr/ucb/mail and sends HTML mail, or  
writes their email in HTML by hand and uses a custom tool to push it to an  
SMTP server. I seriously doubt that such people exist in triple-digit  
numbers, to be honest.

> On the other hand, Laura's change proposal opposes the generator  
> exception as well, so I am not sure this line of reasoning gets us  
> anywhere.

The line of reasoning seems to be valuable, because it allows us first to  
determine whether the exception case makes sense. (Does it make sense to  
say that it is *conformant* to produce malformed code if you are sending  
the document directly to someone whose user agent repairs it?)

The fact that a particular proposal conflates this question with a related  
issue is, IMHO, something that comes from the nature of the change  
proposal process, which doesn't distinguish between an editorial change to  
a particular section and a conceptual change that impacts a number of  
different sections of the document.



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Monday, 19 July 2010 13:52:04 UTC

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