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

Re: Differences between the W3C and WHATWG specifications

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 11:12:55 -0700
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <70C8AF11-FF0C-4CB6-9E6F-D122FD894173@apple.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

Hi Ian,

Thanks for updating the WHATWG draft to no longer refer to W3C decisions in disparaging terms. After some discussion, the Chairs would like to request a few additional changes to the Status of this Document and Introduction sections of the W3C draft.


1) This sentence, appears below the copyright notice: "The text of this specification is also available in the WHATWG Web Applications 1.0 specification, under a license that permits reuse of the specification text.". This sentence appears below the Status of this Document section: "The contents of this specification are also part of a specification published by the WHATWG, which is available under a license that permits reuse of the specification text."

Since there is now text in the W3C copy that is not in the WHATWG copy, we think these statements are no longer fully accurate. We propose text along the following lines to replace both of these sentences: "Portions of this specification are also part of a specification published by the WHATWG, which is available under a license that permits reuse of the specification text."


2) In addition, we have some concerns about the following newly added paragraph:

"The specification published by the WHATWG is not identical to this specification. The main differences are that the WHATWG version includes features not included in this W3C version: some features have been omitted as they are considered part of future revisions of HTML, not HTML5; and other features are omitted because at the W3C they are published as separate specifications. There are also some minor differences. For an exact list of differences, please see the WHATWG specification."

We think this may give the wrong impression about the nature of the differences between the W3C draft and the WHATWG draft. We have the following concerns:

(a) The text implies that all omitted features are either published as separate features, or necessarily part of a future version of HTML. While the WG has not ruled out including removed features in future versions of HTML, we have not committed to doing so, either.
(b) The text implies that changes other than feature removals are minor, but that is debatable. It's better not to make such a judgment.
(c) The WHATWG specification is ever-changing, so we can't be sure at the time of publication of a particular Working Draft that the referenced list of differences will continue to be correct.

Here is an example of a replacement paragraph that would address our concerns:

"The specification published by the WHATWG is not identical to this specification. The main differences are that the WHATWG version includes features not included in this W3C version: some features have been omitted, but may be considered for future revisions of HTML, beyond HTML5; and other features are omitted because at the W3C they are published as separate specifications."


Please make changes to address the above two issues. If you want to pick different wording than our suggestions, we'd be glad to discuss that.

In requesting these changes, we are not making any judgment on whether the W3C draft of HTML5 should continue to link to the WHATWG version. We think that discussion of that matter can continue in the Working Group, decoupled from this publication decision. But we think the changes suggested above are important to ensure that the description of the differences is accurate.


Sincerely,
Maciej Stachowiak
Paul Cotton
Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 18:13:29 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 29 September 2014 09:39:18 UTC