W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > August 2011

RE: Any update on TAG request?

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 07:15:56 -0700
To: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@lab126.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
CC: "member-i18n-core@w3.org" <member-i18n-core@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D05D41A83F3@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
I'm afraid that to analyze the situation I'd want to go back to first principles, in terms of workflows and interoperability problems. It seems you’ve done most of this work, but perhaps not gathered it together in this way.

a. What are the workflows and current deployed components and what do they do?
b. What are the interoperability problems in those workflows?
c.  What should content authors and creators of tools that generate content do in order to minimize downstream interoperability difficulties?
d. What interoperability problems or applicability limitations still occur when one (and even if everyone) follows the advice in c?
e.  Enumerate possible recommendations we could make for downstream tools, such that (presuming widespread adoption  eventually) the interoperability problems of d would be minimized.
f.  Get consensus among the various providers of downstream tools (like browsers and parsers) to agree to implement one of the choices identified for e. -- by providing clear arguments for how doing so would make the web better.
g. Update advice of c. with information about how to evaluate tool maker progress in implementing recommendations of f.

From this view likely need some combination of "how should content authors cope with the existing mess" and "what could tool makers do such that, if all agree, the mess will get better".
I don't see these two approaches as exclusive.  (I think this analysis applies for not just charmed but many other parts of web architecture, so I've tried to write it more generally).

> 1. Do nothing. Do not require normalization by implementations or in specs. Create educational materials to help content authors understand the problem and try to avoid it.

I don't see this as "do nothing" and it seems like a very important thing to provide in any case. So of course we should do this right away. I think writing this advice and being clear about the interoperability problems avoiding is an important first step to improving anything.

> 2. Adopt our proposal for identifier and token/string matching normalization. Revise Charmod-Norm to embody this. Ensure that specs address these requirements in the future.

You have a proposal for e. which you believe that, if widely implemented, will improve the interoperability situation -- a preferred alternative which you are trying to get consensus behind in f. But it sounds like there is some cost to implementors, and the cost is such that there is little or no benefit to anyone unless that choice is widely implemented.

The art is then convincing implementors to accept the cost, with only a promise of benefit.  

Can the costs/benefits be allocated? Could you say, for example, that normalization MUST be applied to Vietnamese but SHOULD be applied to other Unicode strings?
Perhaps there are other hybrid alternatives that do not have the same cost/benefit tradeoffs, in that the costs are limited to situations where there are clear benefits over the current situation?

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

Received on Saturday, 20 August 2011 14:16:37 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:48:39 GMT