W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2004

Re: complexity (was: Re: XHTML and RDF)

From: Orion Adrian <oadrian@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2004 12:15:23 -0400
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <BAY1-F13893MgPPf3L900033c33@hotmail.com>

> > >Perhaps it would be best if the W3C suspended activities on new specs
> > >to work on simplifying the specs they've already written.
> >
> > And how wolud it help? Standards may be too complex for people who are
> > not going to implement them (at least such claims were made). I did
> > not hear complaints from people implementing them yet. Sure you can
> > make standards simple. But can you make them simple without leaving
> > ven more freedom for interpretation? Many problems (CSS in particular)
> > are rooted in spec not being specific enough how should one thing or
> > other be implemented. Relaxed standartds will result in relaxed
> > implementations, and thats zeroes any value of standart by definition.
>
>It seems you misunderstood the issue. We are not talking about
>simplifying the standards' texts. (All W3C standards I've read so far
>are well written.) We are talking about simplifying the technology
>described by the standards.

As am I. The technology itself is what's complicated. I believe that 
simplifying the technology will also have the side effect of making the 
specs easier to read. I also do believe that there are a number of users of 
the technologies that have trouble reading the specs. Developers and 
programmers of course have fewer problems as we've gotten used to reading 
these kinds of things.

> > I do not develop browsers, I deal with web development, but I see no
> > problems reading specs. And I may be mistaken, but I guess "backward
> > compatibility" and problems alike give developers much more headache
> > than any standartd.
>
>Well, I do develop browsers. While "backwards compatibility" (i.e.
>handling of tag soup) gives me some headaches, the prospect of having to
>implement things like XForms or XInclude or CSS2 gives me much more of
>them.

I agree that XForms does to much. I feel that's the case about a lot of 
these standards. They try to do too much. Sometimes it's because they deal 
with special cases instead of taking a look back and seeing the bigger, more 
abstract picture. Sometimes it's just because they try to handle edge cases 
(as has been said many times). I think CSS's problem and sometimes HTML's 
problem is that they don't step back enough. CSS could be greatly simplified 
if it did and CSS2 and CSS3 wouldn't be such a nightmare to implement.

Orion Adrian

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Received on Friday, 9 April 2004 12:15:54 GMT

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