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Re: [XHR] referencing HTML5

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 22:15:15 +0000 (UTC)
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, public-webapi@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0805162201000.12907@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Fri, 16 May 2008, Julian Reschke wrote:
> 
> You can't make them informative by just saying so. The question is, do I 
> need material from HTML5 to implement a conforming XHR implementation?

To implement a conforming XHR implementation, you need an implementation 
of the Window object, the origin infrastructure, and the conventions of JS 
in browsers, much as you do to implement, e.g., DOM2 Core. Until recently 
there were no specs whatsoever that defined those, and browsers relied on 
reverse-engineering to implement those parts. More recently, HTML5 and the 
WebIDL spec have taken up the task of defining these areas, but they 
aren't complete.

However, you don't need a complete implementation of HTML5 to implement 
XHR. Indeed, you don't even need an interoperable one. You just need to 
have the principles that are described (in long and painful detail) in 
those specs implemented in a consistent way.


> If yes, then XHR can't be published earlier. If no, let's rephrase stuff 
> so that HTML5 isn't required.

No, this isn't accurate. We can publish XHR whenever we like. The only 
thing that would stop us is blind obediance to process.


> > The point is that Apple and Microsoft are both going to implement the 
> > thing as required by the Web in 2000, not as defined in HTML5. HTML5 
> > is describing existing practice on these matters, not defining new 
> > material.
> 
> Well, in that case pull that stuff out of HTML5 and insert it into the 
> XHR spec (or move it into something that can be published separately).

We are talking about upwards of a hundred pages of actively edited 
material here.


> If you decide to keep the references, I don't see how this document can 
> advance. Not sure how it works in W3C land, but in IETF land you simply 
> can't have a normative reference to something that is work in progress.

In W3C land the official process is that references are supposed to be no 
more than one step removed. However, that's just a rule that humans have 
decided on, it isn't a fundamental restriction of nature. Rules should 
change when it is appropriate for them to do so.

In practice it is unlikely to be an issue since the goal is to get 
interoperable implementations, not a slavish drive to REC, and thus 
waiting for years at CR stage is not a problem.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 16 May 2008 22:15:54 GMT

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