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RE: ISSUE-41/ACTION-97 decentralized-extensibility

From: Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 20:17:47 +0000
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
CC: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, "Adrian Bateman" <adrianba@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Message-ID: <267F18971244A34BA58D684E5EAA4E6F043E7A27@TK5EX14MBXC137.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
I agree completely with Sam's comments.  

Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada
17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3
Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329

-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 4:06 PM
To: Shelley Powers
Cc: Henri Sivonen; www-archive; Adrian Bateman; Maciej Stachowiak; Paul Cotton
Subject: Re: ISSUE-41/ACTION-97 decentralized-extensibility

Shelley Powers wrote:
> I'd reply to your comments,  Henri, but evidently my emails are not 
> welcome, and are considered, now what were the words? Oh yes, 
> "shrillness" and "hyperbole".

While I condemn such statements, I haven't seen them from Henri.

And while your statement may or may not be welcome on WHATWG mailing
lists and IRC channels, let me assure you that your emails are welcome 
on W3C provided venues.

> Interesting how "shrill" is used when women communicate in tech 
> discussions. About as interesting as statements about it being more cost 
> effective just to hire someone from a third world country to read to the 
> blind, rather than implement accessibility for the web.

"Interesting" is a polite word for it.  I can think of a number of other 

> Shelley
> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> On Oct 2, 2009, at 19:41, Shelley Powers wrote:
>>> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>>>>>> It seems to me this needs to be assessed in the context of use 
>>>>>> cases. It would help to know what kind of state editor vendors 
>>>>>> would like to save, what mechanisms they use now and what state 
>>>>>> saving they recall they have foregone due to lack of syntax in HTML.
>>>>> A use case was provided. I added to it. If you don't find it 
>>>>> sufficient, feel free to reject.
>>>> A general class of use cases was provided but no concrete cases 
>>>> that'd allow solutions to be evaluated.
>>> What do you mean by "concrete"?
>> A specific example of what kind of state an HTML editor tool wants to 
>> save.
>>> No, I didn't say that RDFa is a decentralized extensibility, by itself.
>> OK. For clarity, are you saying that RDFa *isn't* "a decentralized 
>> extensibility"?
>>>>> And that is a good form of openness, though as you say, not without 
>>>>> its own challenges. But, that's more of a application extensibility 
>>>>> rather than a markup extensibility. Yes, HTML has object, but 
>>>>> that's so browsers could be extended with additional functionality.
>>>>> This proposal is talking about extensibility at the core level, in 
>>>>> the markup, itself.
>>>>> Frankly, two different things.
>>>> [...]
>>>>> I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're saying here. Could 
>>>>> you rephrase it?
>>>> How is an ActiveX control that hooks to <object> and a byte stream 
>>>> different *from the user point of view* than an ActiveX control that 
>>>> hooks into "custom tags" in IE? In both cases, there's content out 
>>>> there that you can't read in your browser without installing an 
>>>> additional piece of software, and the piece of software isn't 
>>>> available for all browsers on all platforms.
>>> Henri, sorry, I'm probably being particularly dense today, but I'm 
>>> not sure how this is related to the Microsoft proposal.
>> IE today allows ActiveX controls implement rendering of "custom tag" 
>> subtrees. I'm interested in understanding the relationship of that 
>> feature to the proposal.
>>>> How does the Web become better if additional pieces of native-code 
>>>> software hook to the DOM in addition to hooking to <object>/<embed> 
>>>> and a byte stream?
>>> Native code software?
>> Code implemented as instructions native to the CPU. The way NPAPI 
>> plug-ins and ActiveX controls are implemented.
>>> Well, when it comes to namespaced elements in SVG in an HTML 
>>> document, I can see immediate benefit to JS libraries accessing those 
>>> elements.
>> SVG is not a "decentralized" extension to HTML, AFAICT. It's 
>> centralized right here at the W3C together with HTML.
>>> So, let's ignore the implementation details and focus on your 
>>> concerns about decentralized extensibility. Is your concern, then, 
>>> that no one has provided an argument you can agree with that 
>>> decentralized extensibility is needed? You did question Tony's 
>>> proposal, but I didn't see you question the assertions in the 
>>> proposal about the need for extensibility, only specific use cases. 
>>> What exactly do you have against decentralized extensibility? If you 
>>> can list out the specifics, perhaps we could discuss them, one by one.
>> I can't agree or disagree on whether 'decentralized extensibility' is 
>> needed and I can't say what I have (if anything) against it without 
>> knowing what 'decentralized extensibility' is. It would be helpful to 
>> have a necessary and sufficient definition of what language 
>> characteristics constitute 'decentralized extensibility'.
>> Is the set of characteristics a proper subset of the characteristics 
>> of Namespaces in XML or are the sets one and the same?
>>>> * When content depends on language extensions that need client 
>>>> software extensions to process, the ability of users to read Web 
>>>> content is harmed in software/hardware environments for which the 
>>>> client software extensions aren't available.
>>> I would say that a significant proportion of HTML5 falls into the 
>>> category of needing implementation that isn't universally available 
>>> in all environments.
>> As far as I know, the HTML5 spec is royalty-free and it's being 
>> implemented in multiple engines some of which are Open Source. There 
>> doesn't seem to be any one party controlling the availability of an 
>> HTML5 implementation for a given computing platform.
>>>> * Working with string tuple identifiers is harder than working with 
>>>> simple string identifiers.
>>> Again, this has nothing to do with your concern about decentralized 
>>> extensibility. I think we should focus on the most significant 
>>> concern, address it, and then move on to implementation once past 
>>> that initial concern. Don't you think?
>> It depends on whether 'decentralized extensibility' is synonymous with 
>> Namespaces.
>>>> * Prefix-based indirection (where the prefix expands to something as 
>>>> opposed to being just a naming convention) confuses people.
>>> Again, outside of the initial concern about decentralized 
>>> extensibility as a whole.
>> It depends on whether 'decentralized extensibility' is synonymous with 
>> Namespaces.
Received on Friday, 2 October 2009 20:18:28 UTC

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