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Re: Normative status of author-only view of the HTML5 specification

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 13:56:40 -0700
Cc: Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D524896C-06CB-45E1-8483-0FB9FC5E0675@gbiv.com>
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
On Jun 7, 2011, at 1:09 PM, James Graham wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Jun 2011, Paul Cotton wrote:
> 
>>> Given that we would then have two documents with normative status describing how HTML is defined. Which of the two is authoritative if the two don't agree?
>> 
>> Our goal is have the two documents agree - the author-only view is generated directly from the HTML5 spec.
> 
> Nevertheless it seems undesirable to have two different documents claim authority over what constitues valid HTML. I would much prefer the document containing only the author view of the spec to be explicitly informative and clearly marked as a subset of the full HTML5 spec published for the convenience of one target audience.

The audience of HTML5 authors and authoring tool makers is several orders of magnitude larger than the audience of browser makers. Given the way that the full spec is written, it will not be considered authoritative regardless of what is in the front matter.  If the author-only view is authoritative, then there will be pressure to both keep it in sync with the larger spec and keep the work at W3C.  If the author-only view is not authoritative, then there is no need for it to be in sync with a larger spec that nobody implements -- it will be replaced by documents that accurately describe HTML as implemented.

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:58:35 UTC

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