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Re: References Re: What are the requirements/problems? Re: Working on New Styles for W3C Specifications

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2011 17:15:26 +0000
Message-ID: <4EF608AE.50403@nag.co.uk>
To: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
CC: liam@w3.org, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "Martin J." <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>, Jim Melton <jim.melton@oracle.com>, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, chairs@w3.org, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
On 24/12/2011 10:37, Marcos Caceres wrote:
> But for cases where it does not break backwards compatibility, then I
> should be able to have it.

There are many other reasons than backward compatibility for wanting to
refer to a versioned spec. Xpath2 (and soon 3) are to a large degree
compatible with 1, but they are also considerably larger languages and
many developers (notably browser implementations) have chosen to stay at
version 1. It would be utterly confusing if references to xpath in DOM
API silently updated to refer to xpath3, if implementations are all at
1. This is the _normal_ case. A references section should record the
document that was referenced in making the spec, not some future
document that happens to have the same name.

Exceptions can be made if it is some general informative reference like
referencing the word "unicode" to the lasted version of the Unicode spec
in a specification that hasn't got dependencies on any particular
Unicode version. Another example is EPUB, where EPUB2 references
HTML4/XHTML1 and EPUB3 references HTML5,
It would not have been useful for EPUB to reference an HTML "living
standard" as EPUB readers don't (necessarily) move on and acquire new
features just because the html spec has been developed in intervening
years.

David
Received on Saturday, 24 December 2011 17:15:52 GMT

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