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RE: Inconsistency in HTML 4.01 regarding NBSP

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2010 09:58:06 -0800
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>, "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
CC: "Andrey V. Lukyanov" <land@long.yar.ru>, "www-html@w3.org" <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D4BA1E1@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>

>> "The publication of this document by the W3C as a W3C Working Draft does not
>> imply that all of the participants in the W3C HTML working group endorse the
>> contents of the specification. Indeed, for any section of the specification,
>> one can usually find many members of the working group or of the W3C as a
>> whole who object strongly to the current text, the existence of the section
>> at all, or the idea that the working group should even spend time discussing
>> the concept of that section."

>This is true of all Working Drafts -- a Working Group's publication of
>a Working Draft doesn't imply that it endorses the contents.

No, it is not usually the case in most working groups; the usual
convention is to make changes to documents based on working group
consensus. It isn't even true of the HTML document today; there
aren't many sections that have many members who think the working
group should not spend time discussing the document. The status
of sections should be marked, and those for which there are open
bugs or issues readily determinable.

This paragraph should be changed to note the actual HTML WG decision
process and the status of the ISSUE and bug annotations.

>   See the
> W3C Policy documents:

> http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr#RecsWD 

There's nothing in the policy that would support the
actual details of the text you quoted, except as an
anomalous situation which should no longer be continued.

> So it's a discussion document.

> To be precise, it's a Working Draft.  That means it's not yet
> completely stable, but it's still perfectly reasonable for
> implementers to try implementing it, 

Whether or not it is "reasonable" for implementors to try
to implement it depends to a great deal on how likely the
text in question has actually been reviewed by anyone other
than the editors.

> and for authors to refer to it on
> matters where it's been interoperably implemented.

I disagree that it is 'perfectly reasonable' for authors
to refer to working drafts as a reference when implementors
have reportedly "interoperably" implemented something in
a working draft. In fact, authors should NOT publish web
content that presumes implementation of working draft 
material before it has reached stability. At least not
in public content.

>   This is routine
> and expected -- drafts can't progress until they have feedback from
> implementers and authors, so both groups are encouraged to try using
> them so they can provide useful feedback.  W3C specs are not supposed
> to only be used once they're finished.

You have failed to distinguish between reviewing a spec
and using a spec. Specs are supposed to be reviewed before
they are finished, and used after they are finished.

> In any event, HTML 4.01 is obsolescent and unmaintained, so there's no
> reason to bother discussing inconsistencies.  They won't result in any
> changes.

It is reasonable even now to issue errata on HTML 4.01, if they
are warranted. You're assertion that discussions won't result
in any changes is misleading -- inconsistencies could result in
errata being issues.

Larry
--
http://larry.masinter.net



Received on Monday, 18 January 2010 17:58:50 GMT

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