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Re: Cleaning House

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 02:28:24 -0500
Message-ID: <46398F18.8090301@mit.edu>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
CC: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> Browsers can keep their rendering of B, I, etc if they so desire (and, 
> if the desire is not to break the display of a lot of current pages out 
> there, they will)...but that doesn't mean those elements need to remain 
> in the spec, IMHO.

Just to reiterate, there are two questions here:

1) Should documents containing <b> and <i> be conforming HTML5 documents?
2) Should the HTML5 specification normatively specify parsing of
    <b> and <i> that is compatible with existing content?

Since it's quite possible to specify that a tag is not allowed in documents 
while at the same time specifying how UAs should handle it if someone violates 
the spec and sticks it in anyway, the two questions above can be answered 
somewhat independently of each other.  Of course, if the answer to the first 
question is "yes" the answer to the second one must also be "yes".  But if the 
answer to the first one is "no", the answer to the second one can _still_ be "yes".

The answers, imo, are:

1) Maybe.  Certainly room for discussion.
2) Yes.  Handling of things like <b> and <i> in a manner compatible with 
existing content is rather difficult; we shouldn't be forcing all UAs who're 
interested in rendering existing HTML content (which is most of them, really; 
Amaya possibly excepted) to have to rediscover a sane way to do it by trial and 
error.

Now you could argue that if UAs accept the elements authors will use them no 
matter what and ignore the conformance checkers which claim their documents are 
not conformant.  That may be true, but the only way to solve that problem, 
really, is with better authoring tools.  Otherwise, as already mentioned, 
authors will simply not use HTML5.

-Boris
Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 07:29:53 GMT

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