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Re: Differences between the W3C and WHATWG specifications

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 12:13:03 +0000 (UTC)
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1006181146521.22659@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 17 Jun 2010, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
> Based on the above, we are requesting that you adopt our previously 
> proposed text as-is rather than debating this at length:
> 
> >> "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."

While I don't agree with the reasoning that led the chairs to suggest the 
above text, I don't have a problem with the text itself, so I've replaced 
the TR-version paragraph I had added before with the above paragraph. I 
made a few hopefully minor changes: I changed "the specification" to "the 
HTML specification" when referring to the WHATWG specification, since the 
WHATWG publishes four distinct specifications currently (this was not as 
much of a problem when the original text was written -- I've updated the 
non-TR paragraph with a similar fix); I removed a comma which was 
grammatically incorrect; I added the phrase "at the time of publication", 
to address a point raised by the chairs in the earlier e-mail on this 
thread (namely that the TR drafts don't change once published, so the 
paragraph might become incorrect without such a disclaimer); and I made 
the text use the past tense to fit with the use of the aforementioned 
phrase. I hope these changes are acceptable.


Since this change removes the disclaimer regarding the likely prompt 
obsolescence of the TR drafts, I would like to encourage the chairs to 
seriously consider the point raised by Simon in this e-mail:

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0456.html

His point was also echoed by others, amongst which:

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0451.html
   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0493.html


I would also like to suggest that we should be more frank with the readers 
of the specification about the differences between the HTML WG HTML5 
specification and the WHATWG HTML specification, since we are chartered to 
persue convergence with that group. The current text, based on the text 
proposed by the chairs and quoted above, leaves the precise list of 
changes unstated. This is especially awkward (and not entirely without an 
appearance of a cover-up) because the paragraph immediately before this 
one says that the groups are "working together". I would be happy to 
either list the differences explicitly, or just link to another document 
which lists the differenes, whichever is most acceptable to the chairs.

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 18 June 2010 12:13:33 UTC

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