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Re: Content-Script- and Content-Style-Type

From: Justin Wood <jw6057@bacon.qcc.mass.edu>
Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 01:57:43 -0400
Message-ID: <40B6D4D7.4000506@bacon.qcc.mass.edu>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: www-html-editor@w3.org

Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

>Dear HTML Working Group,
>  <http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/present/styles.html#default-style>:
>  Documents that include elements that set the style attribute but which
>  don't define a default style sheet language are incorrect.
>and <http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/interact/scripts.html#h->:
>  Documents that do not specify default scripting language information
>  and that contain elements that specify an intrinsic event script are
>  incorrect.
>I guess it does not suprise you that most authors are not aware of this
>rule, among all the documents directly linked from <http://www.w3.org/>
>only two
>  * http://www.keio.ac.jp/
>  * http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/CR-css3-ui-20040511/
>specify a default scripting language and/or style sheet language. Of
>course, not all of them are required to, but the following are and do
>not specify this mandatory information:
>  * http://www.w3.org/2000/xp/Group/
>  * http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/WebOnt/
>  * http://www.w3.org/2002/mmi/
>  * http://www.w3.org/2002/mmi/ink
>  * http://www.w3.org/2004/02/mmi-workshop-cfp.html
>  * http://www.w3.org/2004/03/w3c-track04.html
>  * http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Translation/
>  * http://www.w3.org/DOM/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Graphics/PNG/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Graphics/WebCGM/
>  * http://www.w3.org/International/
>  * http://www.w3.org/International/ws/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Jigsaw/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Mail/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Mobile/CCPP/
>  * http://www.w3.org/P3P/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Search/Mail/Public/
>  * http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-i18n-html-tech-bidi-20040509/
>  * http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-i18n-html-tech-char-20040509/
>  * http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-i18n-html-tech-lang-20040509/
>  * http://www.w3.org/Voice/
>  * http://www.w3.org/XML/Schema
>  * http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
>  * http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/
>  * http://www2004.org/
>  * http://www.ercim.org/
>That's about 25% of the documents linked from the W3C homepage or 93% of
>the documents linked from there that use either the style attribute or
>one or more intrinsic event attributes. That's already a lot, but it
>gets worse once you leave W3C web space...
>Most of these documents pass the Validator <http://validator.w3.org/> as
>these rules (and many more) are currently not enforced, same goes for
>most if not all similar tools.
><http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/present/styles.html#default-style> states
>  Authors must specify the style sheet language of style information
>  associated with an HTML document.
>where the "must" is to be interpreted as definded in RFC 2119 according
>to <http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/conform.html>. This is a violation of
>RFC 2119 which requires
>  Imperatives of the type defined in this memo must be used with care
>  and sparingly.  In particular, they MUST only be used where it is
>  actually required for interoperation or to limit behavior which has
>  potential for causing harm (e.g., limiting retransmisssions)  For
>  example, they must not be used to try to impose a particular method
>  on implementors where the method is not required for
>  interoperability.
>The specification of a default style sheet language is not mandatory for
>interoperation as user agents must determine the default style sheet
>language to be "text/css" if no language is specified and lack of such a
>specification does not have the potential of causing harm.
>For intrinsic event attributes it could indeed be considered necessary
>for interoperation that a default scripting language is specified, but
>it seems obvious from common practise that it is not.
>Considering that most authors, even those who care a lot about web
>standards, are unaware of these rules and the number of documents that
>are rendered incorrect due to these rules, I feel strongly that an
>enforcement of these rules in the various conformance tools I help to
>maintain and develop would be damaging.
>It would frustrate too many authors for no good reason. And it would
>frustrate too many people involved with these tools or with web
>standards in general. If we change the W3C MarkUp Validator, I see
>endless complains on the mailing list, in blogs, articles about
>"changing the rules" and evangelists would have to argue about
>"ever-changing" standards... It does not make your web site any better
>if you specify these defaults.
>Thus, I ask you to propose a correction to the HTML 4.01 Recommendation
>(and, if necessary, sub-sequent Recommendations) that removes these
These requirements are perfectly valid IMHO, the authors just choose not 
to follow the spec, in truth if they provide 'style' attributes and/or 
script in 'event' attributes and don't specify these.

Though since as you say MOST authors don't follow the rules UA's are 
forced in many cases to 'assume' Javascript and CSS respectively.

If anything it is a bug with the validator, and as such should be fixed, 
and "changing the rules" does not apply, the HTML 4.01 spec has been out 
since 1999, we didnt change the spec...we 'fixed' the validator, 
complaints aside, alot of so-called conforming pages would then be 
fixed, especially if they try to use the w3c's validator to claim 

The validator never claims to be 100% accurate in terms of conformance, 
though the validator does help ALOT in terms of conformance, authors 
should not base "is my page conformant" on the validator itself, but 
rather on the conformance guidelines of HTML 4.01.

Just my two coins,
~Justin Wood
Received on Friday, 28 May 2004 01:58:51 UTC

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