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Working Group Decision on ISSUE-128 figure-in-p

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:13:24 -0400
Message-ID: <4D7F8214.6050902@intertwingly.net>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
The decision follows.  The chairs made an effort to explicitly address
all arguments presented in the Change Proposals on this topic in
addition to arguments posted as objections in the poll.

*** Question before the Working Group ***

There is a basic disagreement in the group as to whether figure elements
are to be allowed to be included in a paragraph, and whether the parsing
algorithm should be modified to accommodate for such usages.  The result
was an issue, two change proposals, and a straw poll for objections:

http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/128
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/FigureInP
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Oct/0055.html
http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/issue-128-objection-poll/results

== Uncontested observations:

  * CSS as it exists today imposes some practical constraints on the
    author

  * There was some "damage" caused by Acid2, which resulted in a parsing
    mode quirk.  Note: the description on Henri's site concerns tables
    within a paragraph, not a figure within a paragraph; the latter being
    the subject of this issue.

  * Allowing <figure> in <p> might lead to abuse of <figure> parsing
    rules for presentational purposes and violating "Separation of
    Concerns".

  * Both proposals have been implemented by some major implementer, at
    some point in time.  While not explicitly stated, no assertion was
    made that these changes "break the web".

None of these were decisive.  There were people who supported either of
these proposals even after taking these facts into consideration.  The
fact that they were acknowledged up front was appreciated.

=== Arguments not considered:

Both proposals contain a number of unsupported assertions as to what is
"simple, "logical", "essential", "confusing" or "intuitive".  Generally
these assertions are presented without any supporting evidence.  Each of
which is contested.  Clearly we do not have consensus on these points.
Therefore, arguments which were predicated on one or more of these
assertions were not considered.

=== Objections

We are in the unusual position where we have a survey
which surfaces a number of objections to the original change proposal
but none to the counter proposal.

What remains is the original change proposal which consists of
uncontested observations and unsupported assertions as listed above.  By
contrast, there are a number of objections to the original proposal, a
few of which are paraphrased below:

  * An objection to fixing a limitation in CSS within the HTML5
    specification.

  * An objection to allowing figures within a sentence.

  * An objection to parsing <p><figure><table> differently than
    <p><table>.

None of these objections were countered.

*** Decision of the Working Group ***

Therefore, the HTML Working Group hereby adopts the "Treat <figure> as
being equivalent to <p> or <aside>" for ISSUE-128.  Of the Change
Proposals before us, this one has drawn the weaker objections.

== Next Steps ==

Bug 10644 is to be CLOSED and marked as WGDecision.

Since the prevailing Change Proposal does not call for a spec change, no
further action is required.

== Appealing this Decision ==

If anyone strongly disagrees with the content of the decision and would
like to raise a Formal Objection, they may do so at this time. Formal
Objections are reviewed by the Director in consultation with the Team.
Ordinarily, Formal Objections are only reviewed as part of a transition
request.

== Revisiting this Issue ==

This issue can be reopened if new information come up. Examples of
possible relevant new information include:

* concrete use cases that specifically require figures within a
   paragraph.  Ideally this would be accompanied by a list of actual
   sites that actually demonstrate this need.
Received on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 15:14:21 GMT

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