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Re: Differences between the W3C and WHATWG specifications

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2010 10:58:14 +0200
Message-ID: <4C19E3A6.2080901@gmx.de>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 16.06.2010 01:40, Ian Hickson wrote:
> ...
>> 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.
>
> This working group isn't chartered to work on future versions of HTML, so
> it can't really have an opinion on that. The WHATWG is working on future

It can't?

> revisions of HTML today. Therefore even if the W3C never published the new
> features, they would be part of "future revisions" of HTML. The text
> therefore seems accurate on this front.
> ...

Anyway; if your line of argument is that the W3C isn't working on HTML 
beyond HTML5, but the WHATWG is, then this is another issue we should 
address.

>> (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.
>
> I don't see such an implication.

"There are also some minor differences."

>> (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.
>
> True. I've changed the build process so that the TR snapshots of the spec
> get a different paragraph that is more accurate in that context:
>
>    <p>This version of the W3C HTML5 specification is a snapshot of part
>    of the work done by these groups as of [LONGDAY] [YEAR]. Because the
>    HTML specification is continuously being maintained, implementors
>    and authors are strongly urged to read the latest editor's draft
>    instead of this snapshot. The W3C and WHATWG editor's drafts of HTML

I think it's bad to publish working drafts, and to tell people not to 
look at them. There's a reason snapshots are published.

I have no problem in pointing out that current edits reside somewhere 
else, but we don't need to go further than that.

> ...

Best regards, Julian
Received on Thursday, 17 June 2010 08:59:09 UTC

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