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Re: WebIDL

From: Brendan Eich <brendan@mozilla.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 23:53:43 -0700
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, public-webapps@w3.org, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, es-discuss <es-discuss@mozilla.org>
Message-Id: <A60E6E73-7070-47EF-8EB0-31ECB52D375F@mozilla.com>
To: Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com>
On Sep 25, 2009, at 11:43 PM, Yehuda Katz wrote:

> Do we disagree that it is a worthy goal to have a specification that
> can be understood without having to take a while? I certainly
> understand the utility in using something with precedent like IDL (for
> implementors). Perhaps the IDL version could be part of an addendum,
> and something

What "something"?


> with less historical and conceptual baggage be used
> inline? Or is that too much work?

Do the work, it's the only way to get to "something" and make it stick.

I don't think we should continue cross-posting like this to three  
standards groups' lists. Yes, old and layered specs are often complex,  
even over-complicated. No, we can't fix that complexity in the case of  
WebIDL by rewriting the extant interface descriptions in ES. As Maciej  
noted, doing so would cost ~10x the source lines, and beyond verbosity  
would be incredibly unclear and error-prone.

Those who seek to replace WebIDL must first grok what it means, how it  
is used. To do that, I suggest trimming cross-posts, and even before  
replying, reading up on the relevant WebIDL docs and list. Once you've  
braced yourself for this process, and gotten further into it, I am  
sure that a Q&A process will work better.

You are absolutely correct that the specs are complex and  have gaps.  
Every engineer who has worked on a web-compatible browser has had to  
learn this the hard way. I don't expect the Web to be "done" but I do  
think better specs will close gaps and reduce some of the complexity  
over time. That's the hope behind this overlong, cross-posted thread,  
anyway. I'll shut up now.

/be
Received on Saturday, 26 September 2009 06:54:30 GMT

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