W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > December 2006

[whatwg] HTML syntax: shortcuts for 'id' and 'class' attributes

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 17:11:25 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0612011704280.4460@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>
On Thu, 30 Nov 2006, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> 
> No, because an HTML4 UA will not render that in any sort of reasonable 
> way (for example, in an HTML4 UA the "p.myclass" tag will never be 
> closed).

This exactly summarises why we can't do this.


On Thu, 30 Nov 2006, Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:
> 
> Boris, what about this then:
> 
> <p .myclass> ... </p>
> <p #myid> ... </p>
> 
> (tag name and attribute delimeted by space)
> 
> Can this be considered as enough backward compatible ?

I don't really see how this would be particularly beneficial. Saving two 
characters to specify an ID (and 5 for a class) at the cost of losing 
compatibility with all legacy UAs, seems pointless.


On Fri, 1 Dec 2006, Robert Sayre wrote:
> 
> No. Try this rule of thumb: don't invent anything unless you absolutely 
> have to, or you're giving a name to something that is already happening.

Exactly.


On Fri, 1 Dec 2006, Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:
> 
> Let's imagine that there are no such things as HTML5 and WHATWG yet.
> Only HTML 4.1, CSS and JavaScript in the wild.
> 
> And here comes someone who will tell us: "Hey, something wrong in this 
> triade - it is not serving needs of Web Applications well. So let's 
> start from HTML."
> 
> "No. Try this rule of thumb: don't invent anything unless you absolutely 
> have to, or you're giving a name to something that is already 
> happening."
> 
> Absolutely applicable! Isn't it?

Yes... that's why we're not inventing anything unless we absolutely have 
to. Like <canvas>, or <datagrid>, or the various other new features in 
HTML5. (There aren't that many. They're all pretty vital.)


> In other words: what is so conceptually wrong with HTML 4.01 that 
> requires HTML5 to be designed?

HTML5 is HTML4, just better defined (fixing bugs in HTML4) and with a few 
new features to handle things HTML4 couldn't do.


Please let me know if there is something that was said in this thread that 
deserves further reply; I don't think there was (mostly this thread was 
people disagreeing with Andrew or off-topic discussion).

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 1 December 2006 09:11:25 UTC

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