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Publication of specifications as HTML5

From: Aryeh Gregor <ayg@aryeh.name>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:59:55 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKA+Axme49RWMrtsP6TmgkG=P9m21=1KA0TsVgfOQft-Pgdtgw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, Karl Dubost <karl+w3c@la-grange.net>
Cc: spec-prod@w3.org
Today I was talking with a few people about the fact that W3C
specifications cannot be published as HTML5.  As far as I can tell,
the pubrules say:

"All normative representations must validate as one of the following:
HTML 4.x, some version of XHTML that is a W3C Recommendation, or RDFa
in XHTML. Team Contacts please see the Communications Team to propose
additional exceptions."

HTML5 has been under development in some form for over seven years, at
the W3C for about four years, and is unlikely to reach Recommendation
for a number of years yet.  It introduces many new semantic elements
that would be useful in specifications, such as <nav>, <header>,
<section>, etc.  According to Ian Hickson, HTML3.2, HTML4, HTML4.01,
XHTML1, and XHTML1.1 were all allowed to be published in their own
format even before they reached Recommendation.  Hixie also said that
he reformats the HTML5 specification from HTML5 to HTML4.01 with a
four-line Perl script, which implies that if any consumer actually
needs HTML4.01 instead of HTML5, converting it should not be a great

So it's a bit of a puzzle to me why specs can't just be published as
HTML5.  What are the practical problems it might cause that outweigh
the benefits?  Multiple people have told me that polyglot HTML5 might
be okay, but why is non-polyglot HTML5 any worse than HTML4.01 (which
is allowed)?  What would the procedure be for trying to get this
requirement changed?

Thanks to everyone for their time.
Received on Thursday, 18 August 2011 20:00:53 UTC

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