W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > July 2012

Re: [whatwg] Administrivia: Update on the relationship between the WHATWG HTML living standard and the W3C HTML5 specification

From: Bronislav Klučka <Bronislav.Klucka@bauglir.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 22:58:30 +0200
Message-ID: <5011AF76.5010709@bauglir.com>
To: whatwg@lists.whatwg.org
Hi Steve,
you are trying to keep it technical by picking one example. But I guess 
you are missing a point, this is not technical issue here,
this is not about choosing, this is about market.

I do understand, that HTML is more than a set of tags and rules to use 
them, there are a lot of different issues here involved (conformance, 
nonconformance, legacy content, error fixing, parsing, accessibility. 
etc.), but again, this is not technical issue, it's marketing, and 
frankly I think this is exactly what you are missing.

Let's assume, the browser is the most important device to consume HTML 
(I do not know about search engines crawlers, due to their speed, number 
and reach, they may be dominant, but they usually go for different 
thinks then validity, conformity, accessibility and most likely even 
semantics in general). I do not have any numbers/research to support 
that, but it's not unreasonable to assume this.
Let's say we have 2 specs.: spec A and spec. B, Let's say, that majority 
of browsers (vendors) pick specification A.
1/ web developers will look into A for guidance, because of the browser 
support of HTML and HTML related technologies (it's one package 
developers are working with - HTML, CSS, JS)
2/ web developers will not use validators checking against B (because of 
1/, why would they?)
3/ most validators will use A as a frame to check against
4/ due to our assumption, due to 1/, if crawlers will look for any 
validity specific issues, they will use specification A
5/ due to our assumption, due to 1/, assistant devices (e.g. readers for 
blind) will use specification A
6/ specification B becomes marginal
7/ because all of this, any other future device consuming HTML (even 
browser, browser versions) will choose spec. A
And that won't change until browser switch from spec. A to other

This is not about "just pick one of those specifications", no vendor of 
any device/sw, who does want to become a player in this field of any 
significance will go with the flow.

Due to Hixie's intervention here (this is technical forum), if you 
wishes to discuss this issue further, why do I think that living 
standard approach is better than specification circle (the technical 
differences are minor issues here). You can write me directly.

Brona



On 26.7.2012 13:38, Steve Faulkner wrote:
> Hi Bronslav
>
> - keeping to the technical as per hixi'e request
>
> you wrote:
>
> " both derives their
> authority from browser vendors - "specification" not supported by
> majority of browsers is irrelevant, developers can only work with what
> is in the browser (plugins are becoming obsolete, as it would seems).
> The only thing, that matters is what is in browsers."
>
> Not exactly true, the semantics of HTML and the rules on how
> implemented (or yet to be implemented) features are to be used within
> the constraints of their implementation is not down to the browser
> vendors, the rules on how HTML is to be used has an important effect
> upon the accessibility of authored content.
>
> Also there are there are other classes of software such as conformance
> checkers for which HTML/HTML5 provide normative requirements and
> advice.
>
> And as it happens this is one of the areas where the 2 specs diverge:
>
> In the HTML5 spec [5] there are currently only 2 cases (soon there may
> only be 1 [1]) where lack of alt on an attribute is considered
> conforming:
>
> "A conformance checker must report the lack of an alt attribute as an
> error unless one of the conditions listed below applies:
> •The img element is in a figure element that satisfies the conditions
> described above.
> •The document has a meta element with a name attribute whose value is
> an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "generator". (This case
> does not represent a case where the document is conforming, only that
> the generator could not determine appropriate alternative text —
> validators are required to not show an error in this case to
> discourage markup generators from including bogus alternative text
> purely in an attempt to silence validators.)"
>
>
> While in HTML living standard there are 3 [2] the one missing from HTML5 is
>
> "The title attribute is present and has a non-empty value"
>
> The reasons why the HTML5 specification does not have the same
> requirement as HTML the living standard is well documented [3]
>
> So conformance checkers have to make a decision about which set of
> rules to implement. I would strongly suggest that one of the major
> validation tools [4] will implement the rules in the W3C HTML spec,
> not HTML living standard.
>
>
> [1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/Issue31cMetaGeneratorUpdated
> [2] http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage//embedded-content-1.html#guidance-for-conformance-checkers
> [3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/notitlev2
> [4] http://validator.w3.org/
> [5] http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/the-img-element.html#guidance-for-conformance-checkers
>
>
>
>
> On 25.7.2012 16:55, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>> hi Bronislav
>>
>> you wrote:
>>
>> I was just looking at WHATWG wiki and there is nice sentence: "In
>> general the WHATWG will ensure that the normative content of the
>> specifications (the requirements on authors and implementors) remains
>> the same so long as the W3C group doesn't demonstrate any serious lapses
>> in judgement."
>>
>>
>> I am sure the same can be said from the other viewpoint,
>>
>> The W3C HTML working group  will ensure that the normative content of the
>> specifications (the requirements on authors and implementors) remains
>> the same so long as the WHATWG group doesn't demonstrate any serious lapses
>> in judgement.
>>
>>
>> Which is why the 2 specs have diverged on author conformance
>> requirements and advice as each group considers the other to have made
>> lapses in judgement.
>>
> Hi Steve,
> True, no doubt about that, but that is matter of relevancy of opinion.
> Mine and yours are irrelevant. W3C and WHATWG as organizations are
> irrelevant - neither actually have any authority, both derives their
> authority from browser vendors - "specification" not supported by
> majority of browsers is irrelevant, developers can only work with what
> is in the browser (plugins are becoming obsolete, as it would seems).
> The only thing, that maters is what is in browsers.
>
> Bronislav Klucka
>
> --
> with regards
>
> Steve Faulkner
> Technical Director - TPG
>
> www.paciellogroup.com | www.HTML5accessibility.com |
> www.twitter.com/stevefaulkner
> HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives -
> dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/
> Web Accessibility Toolbar - www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Thursday, 26 July 2012 20:59:21 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 30 January 2013 18:48:09 GMT