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Re: Statement why the Polyglot doc should be informative

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2012 09:01:37 -0500
Message-ID: <509D0CC1.3090806@intertwingly.net>
To: public-html@w3.org
On 11/09/2012 08:25 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
>> On 11/02/2012 06:44 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>>>
>>> Since the document should only document conclusions drawn from normative
>>> statements made elsewhere
>>
>> Why?
>
> If the publication purports to document a subset of HTML that is also
> XHTML with the same semantics, it should do what it purports to do in
> order to avoid confusion. The Polyglot doc is already inspiring enough
> confusion—of the same kind as the infamous Appendix C.
>
> Exhibit A about confusion: “By doing this, your documents will almost
> assuredly be better structured and of higher quality, yet still be
> able to be treated as HTML5.”
> (http://www.sitepoint.com/have-you-considered-polyglot-markup/)

A desire for higher quality is not prima facia evidence of confusion.

> Exhibit B about confusion:
> http://intertwingly.net/blog/2012/11/09/In-defence-of-Polyglot
> conflates the problem of generating output that works with incompliant
> HTML consumers with polyglotness.

Nor is motivation evidence of confusion.  Even before the term was 
popular, I have been generating polyglot documents, and have described 
my motivations for doing so.  Describing my efforts (condescendingly, I 
might add) as being "confused" is not furthering the discussion.

> To keep truth in advertising, a profile that documents a set of
> restrictions preferred by a group of polyglot enthusiasts should not
> be labeled so that it looks like it's documenting the subset of HTML
> that is also XHTML with the same semantics. For example, if you want
> to define a profile that is successfully consumed by the HTML parser
> of libxml2, I think you should design the profile by studying the
> behaviors of the HTML parser in libxml2 and label the profile
> something like “libxml2-compatible HTML profile” instead of drawing
> conclusions from the definitions of HTML and XHTML and labeling the
> result “polyglot”.

I really wish that you would reduce your tendency to label people with 
terms like "enthusiasts".

I don't think we should attempt to focus on libxml2 any more than we 
should attempt to optimize the web for geocities.

Browser vendors properly talk about a desire to be "web compatible", 
without referring to a single author or tool.  This clearly is not an 
achievable endpoint, but rather a process that is worthy of pursuit.

I maintain that a complementary process for authors who desire to 
produced universally consumable content is valuable.  Not as an 
achievable endpoint, but again as a process that is worthy of pursuit.

> That said, the initial e-mail in this thread was not meant to inspire
> more discussion on this mailing list. It was meant to serve as a
> Process anchor point for making a Working Group Decision in accordance
> with what the Chairs present at the face-to-face meeting said.

As a co-chair (who admittedly was not present at the face to face), I 
can assure you that "anchor points" are not meant to be mutually 
exclusive with discussions.  As a part of the process, we will be asking 
for rationale for proposals such as "should only document conclusions 
drawn from normative statements made elsewhere".  Lacking such bug 
reports and rationale statements, the process is clear on how the 
decision will be made:

http://dev.w3.org/html5/decision-policy/decision-policy-v3.html#note-vs-rec

- Sam Ruby
Received on Friday, 9 November 2012 14:02:14 GMT

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