W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-dom@w3.org > July to September 1997

coping with overlapping elements in the DOM (fwd)

From: MegaZone <megazone@livingston.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 21:06:19 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199708060406.VAA20191@server.livingston.com>
To: www-dom@w3.org
Once upon a time Lauren Wood shaped the electrons to say...
>One of the big problems in trying to come up with a reasonable 
>specification for the DOM is trying to figure out how much we
>should do to cope with broken HTML documents. Obviously

Just don't.  Just as CSS requires more attention to HTML validity to
work properly, so should the DOM.  Personally I think the DOM model
should be strictly adherent to the DTD, with no handling of abberent
cases.

People aren't likely to start doing using the DOM against older pages,
but rather new/revised pages done to specifically take advantage of the 
DOM.  Since there will be authoring work involved anyway, they can fix
their broken code then.

>Since we don't really want to encourage people to write broken 
>documents, there is also the problem of whether we should do 
>anything for overlapping elements at all. The choices are:
>1) don't do anything for overlapping elements
>2) do something and deprecate it immediately, so it will be in level 
>one but not level two
>3) put it in without deprecating.

I would consider #3 a major mistake.  Even #2 makes me uncomfortable.  If
it is *ever* in there, even deprecated, it gains some official credit.
Don't even give it that much - do not recognize invalid HTML as something
people can get away with, even in minor cases.

I've been involved with engineering on too many issues where some small
exception built in to handle some oddball case came back later to haunt
development.  Some feature a rev or two down the road ends up being 
needlessly complicated to avoid breaking the kludge in an earlier rev.

Keep the DOM as streamlined and simple as possible.  This is best for the
standard developers, UA/authoring tool vendors, and content authors.  
Little exceptions have a way of snowballing - and it also sets the precedent
for future whining to have some other exceptions added.

Just say no. :-)

-MZ
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Received on Wednesday, 6 August 1997 00:09:02 GMT

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