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[Bug 12854] New: I am quite surprised to see that things such as the list of allowed values for the "rel" attribute of the "link" tag (aka. the list of link types) as well as the list of allowed values for the "name" attribute of the "meta" tag are supposed to be listed o

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2011 15:16:26 +0000
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-12854-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12854

           Summary: I am quite surprised to see that things such as the
                    list of allowed values for the "rel" attribute of the
                    "link" tag (aka. the list of link types) as well as
                    the list of allowed values for the "name" attribute of
                    the "meta" tag are supposed to be listed o
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: Other
               URL: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#top
        OS/Version: other
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P3
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: contributor@whatwg.org
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org,
                    public-html@w3.org


Specification: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/
Section: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#top

Comment:
I am quite surprised to see that things such as the list of allowed
values for the "rel" attribute of the "link" tag (aka. the list of link
types) as well as the list of allowed values for the "name" attribute of
the "meta" tag are supposed to be listed on external wiki pages
(http://microformats.org/wiki/existing-rel-values and
http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/MetaExtensions). The standard mandates that
the wiki pages can be edited by anyone, and that conformance checkers
must use them to establish if a value is valid or invalid.

As I understand it, a close reading of this part of the standard means
that, were the wiki pages blanked by an malicious or clueless user, a
great number of documents would instantly become, strictly speaking,
invalid. In pretty much the same way, if the wiki were temporarily
unavailable for some technical reason, the conformance of documents
could not be evaluated. This would mean that, strictly speaking, the
precise notion of HTML5 conformance could change at any time, at the
whim of absolutely anyone, and that validators should theoretically
enforce this.

In my opinion, the wiki pages should be presented as a recommended place
to read about existing usage and discuss possible additions; however,
this should be clearly separated from the normative part of the standard
which should indicate that any ASCII case-insensitive value (or absolute
URL for link types) is legal. Making some common values part of the
standard, as is done currently, seems reasonable, but the other values
should be normatively accepted, not accepted depending on their presence
on the wiki.

This is quite a minor point and of little practical importance, but the
current state of the text makes it quite hard to write a fully compliant
conformance checker or to ensure that a given document remains fully
compliant over time; I consider this an issue worth mentioning.

The relevant sections of the document as of this writing are:
http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/links.html#other-link-types
http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/semantics.html#other-metadata-names

Thank you for your time,

-- 
Antoine Amarilli


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Received on Thursday, 2 June 2011 15:16:28 UTC

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