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Re: ISSUE-140 CPP — no conformance versions

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 06:15:33 +0000
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110207061533.GA30491@stripey.com>
Lars Gunther writes:

> Another thing to consider: Getting an all green from the validator is
> a boost of morale for young students. Simple, but I've seen it again
> and again. Whenever I encounter a situation in the CSS validator where
> there is a bug and the green is unavailable for the wrong reasons,
> there may be an intellectual acceptance of the fact, but it does not
> work as a pat on the back with the same force as getting a real
> "green" does.

Situations like this are a really good example of when authors can
benefit by conformance not having versions.

If the bug you mention is actually in the spec (rather than in a
particular implementation of a validator) then issuing a new edition of
the spec can fix things -- thereby suddenly making the document valid.
But that requires the new edition of the spec to apply to the document.

Consider somebody who was written a page using HTML4 features plus
HTML5's <canvas> element (because browsers are now implementing <canvas>
and she wishes to use it). That document does not at the moment conform
to the most recent version of HTML published by the W3C, HTML4.01. When
HTML5 is released, the document _will_ conform to the then current
version of HTML.

As such it will make sense to refer to it as a valid HTML document.
Continuing to refer to it as an invalid HTML4 document doesn't achieve
anything.

Changes in conformance can occur for many reasons, including:

* A new feature being added.
* Something which authors were doing anyway being recognized as safe, so
  now sanctioned.
* Spec bugs being corrected, changing what is allowed to reflect what
  the intention always ways.
* Something which has been found to cause problems not being allowed.

In a situation where an author was doing X unaware that this causes
problems and X happens to validate and then a new edition of the HTML
standard is issued which prohibits X, it is irritating for the author
that her document has suddenly become invalid. But there are plenty of
examples where the opposite will occur: a document will become valid.
(And even in this case, it is to the author's benefit to learn what the
problems with X are.)

Cheers

Smylers
-- 
http://twitter.com/Smylers2
Received on Monday, 7 February 2011 06:16:10 GMT

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