W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > June 2004

Re: Mozilla-Opera and SVG

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 20:05:35 +0000 (UTC)
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Cc: Tonny Kohar <tonny@kiyut.com>, svg-developers@yahoogroups.com, www-svg@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0406071916340.9097@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

This is wildly off-topic but I just wanted to clarify a few points Chris
made in the interests of accuracy.

On Mon, 7 Jun 2004, Chris Lilley wrote:
>| MozillaZine is reporting that the Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software
>| have formed a working group to develop specifications for Web
>| applications. The new Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group
>| is working on specs for Web Forms 2.0, Web Apps 1.0 and Web Controls
>| 1.0, among others. This is being done outside of the W3C, with the hope
>| of getting a viable alternative to Longhorn's XAML available soon.
> So, its not a W3C working group but instead, is a small group of
> individuals trying to bring back the browser wars mentality.

Not entirely sure what you mean by "the browser wars mentality" -- could
you clarify? I don't remember browser vendors collaborating on spec
development and being concerned with accessibility and the like back in
the early 90s, but then I wasn't really involved back then.

> Its invitation only, I see

To clarify, the "by invitation only" bit is just for the "membership",
which is a steering commitee, the equivalent of the W3C's Director.
Contributions are welcome to anyone, the mailing list is open subscription
and publicly archived, anyone can post, and the current state of the draft
is always publicly visible on the Web for peer review.

> though I expect most specs will be on hixie.ch anyway.

They will be (and are) on whatwg.org. Admittedly whatwg.org and hixie.ch
have the same IP address, but that's a minor point. ;-)

>| Another reason for working outside the W3C could be the rift between
>| Mozilla/Opera and other W3C members over what technologies Web
>| applications solutions such be based on: Mozilla/Opera favour a
>| backwards-compatible HTML-based standard,
> Well, since they are doing new work then its not backwards compatible
> ....

CSS2 is backwards compatible with CSS1, in that you can use CSS2 features
and deploy the stylesheets to CSS1 UAs and the CSS1 UAs will handle it
gracefully. HTML4 is largely backwards compatible with HTML2 for the same
reason. The proposals being put forward on whatwg.org are backwards
compatible with HTML4 in the same way -- you can write a form that uses
the new Web Forms 2 features and the form will still basically work with
HTML4. For example,

   <input type="time" name="t1"/>

...will display a time widget in a Web Forms 2-compliant UA, but a normal
text widget in an XHTML1 UA. The widget in the XHTML1 UA will still work,
it'll just be free form instead of being restricted to times.

On the other hand, a non-backwards-compatible technology like XForms would
result not in a still-functional-but-less-useful field, but in nothing at
all, or a lone caption with no widget, or similar.

>> The questions is how this related to SVG development, what do you think?
> Not at all

I agree. SVG is complimentary to HTML, like PNG. SVG provides a great way
to do inline vector graphics, something that has a huge demand.

The work being carried out by the whatwg.org group is unrelated, being
concerned with new APIs and semantic markup, not graphics.

> apart from some fancy names for 'a few more HTML 4 tags' there isn't
> much there

Indeed, the work is purely concerned with adding a few more HTML4 (and
XHTML1) elements, with related DOM APIs.

> and it ignores pretty much all Web developments of the last four or so
> years - it rejects even XML.

This seems like a surprising comment given that the proposals so far refer
to DOM3 Events (e.g. giving events namespaces), all apply to XHTML as much
as HTML4, specify their interaction with CSS3 drafts, specify their
relationship to XForms, and in several cases involve XML directly such as
the XML form submission work or the external data instance proposals.

Which "Web developments of the last four years" does it ignore? Why do you
suggest that it "rejects even XML"?

> Given that Mozilla itself embraces XML, RDF, has a simple XLink
> implementation, does some SVG, and so on its a fair bet that this
> represents a few disgruntled, tired individuals trying to bring back the
> 'who needs standards, we have quick hacks' good old days rather than a
> radical change of direction for Mozilla as a whole.

As far as Mozilla goes, this is indeed not a change in direction. The
previous focus (CSS, DOM, HTML, ECMAScript) continues to be the primary
focus, due to author demand.

Note that Mozilla has supported XHTML for literally years, and that
authors have by and large totally ignored this. Similarly, despite
Mozilla's significant MathML support, few people ever publish MathML.
There is simply very little demand on the real Web for XML-based markup
language support. (Probably mainly due to the fact that the market leader
has no support for such languages.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 7 June 2004 16:05:37 UTC

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