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History Re: [webcomponents] Template element parser changes => Proposal for adding DocumentFragment.innerHTML

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 12:07:33 +0200
To: "Rafael Weinstein" <rafaelw@google.com>, "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "Webapps WG" <public-webapps@w3.org>, "Yehuda Katz" <wycats@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <op.wd42evxewxe0ny@widsith-3.local>
On Fri, 11 May 2012 10:55:27 +0200, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi> wrote:

> On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM, Rafael Weinstein <rafaelw@google.com>  
> wrote:
>> I'm very much of a like mike with Henri here, in that I'm frustrated
>> with the situation we're currently in WRT SVG & MathML & parsing
>> foreign content in HTML, etc... In particular, I'm tempted to feel
>> like SVG and MathML made this bed for themselves and they should now
>> have to sleep in it.
>
> I think that characterization is unfair to MathML.  The math working
> group tried hard to avoid local name collisions with HTML.  They
> didn't want to play namespace games.  As I understand it, they were
> forced into a different namespace by W3C strategy tax arising from the
> "NAMESPACE ALL THE THINGS!" attitude.

Actually, I think even that is an unfair characterisation. At the time  
both these technologies were developed (mid-late 90s) everyone assumed  
that XML was the path of the future for everything, and that  
de-crentralised extensibility was a critical requirement for a powerful  
web platform.

Given that scenario, it is unclear whether there is a better approach. The  
current HTML approach of "if it is important it will get into the mainline  
spec" effectively breaks the key extensibility assumption. Leading  
implementors like Adobe, SodiPodi and Inkscape all introduced namespaced  
content all over the SVG map - in many cases doing things that active SVG  
WG members thought were excessive. Likewise Microsoft Office (at the time  
probably as widespread as "web browsers" in general) introduced namespaced  
content all over HTML (IE didn't support XHTML).

Seven years later, both of those assumptions came under attack from the  
nascent WHAT-WG approach to updating HTML - but unlike the case for HTML,  
where the market leader had clearly resisted implementing XHTML, SVG in  
particular was backed by a number of XML-happy engines. It was several  
more years before SVG and MathML were incorporated into HTML in a way that  
clearly made sense.

Punishing people, or even ridiculing them, for using XML in the late 90s,  
seems counter-productive at best. Outside HTML even Microsoft - who were  
one of the big creative forces behind XML - were pushing it everywhere, it  
was considered de riguer for making the mobile web a possibility outside  
Opera (which supported it anyway, but didn't require it), and it had, and  
still has, huge deployment. It just failed on the "web browser" platform,  
for reasons that are far easier to see in hindsight than they were at the  
time.

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan noen norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 11 May 2012 10:08:19 GMT

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