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Re: Comments on HTML WG face to face meetings in France Oct 08

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 07:19:54 -0800
Message-ID: <49218B9A.8030705@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, Dean Edridge <dean@dean.org.nz>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> Since the HTML5 spec itself says the opposite (that some byte streams 
> are conforming HTML documents and some are not), I think it is a stretch 
> to say it makes any byte stream legal.

Yes, but since it defines exact behavior and DOM construction for 
absolutely any byte stream, I find that language disingenuous. The 
reality is that all byte streams can be unambiguously decoded to 
specific DOMs (or at least that's what the spec is attempting. There may 
well be cases they've missed.)

> Let's compare with a well-known semantic language, English. Many 
> utterances in English contain syntax errors. Many such utterances will 
> still be understood correctly by a native speaker, and indeed the 
> listener will not bother to flag the error most of the time. But that 
> does not mean that all utterances are correct English.
> 

Yes, but many utterances won't. I challenge any English speaker to find 
meaning in "sakj eajkk 3q328i9 sajkd", yet an HTML 5 parser would 
unambiguously construct a document out of that string.

-- 
Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321503635/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
Received on Monday, 17 November 2008 15:20:34 GMT

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