W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-admin@w3.org > September 2013

Re: Differences between WHATWG and W3C specs

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:46:01 +0100
To: "Jens O. Meiert" <jens@meiert.com>, "Karl Dubost" <karl@la-grange.net>, "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: "Steve Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "public-html-admin@w3.org" <public-html-admin@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.w3u62zhsy3oazb@chaals.local>
On Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:16:06 +0100, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>  

> On 09/22/2013 12:30 AM, Jens O. Meiert wrote:
>>>>> these cases generally don't affect browser behavior.
>>>> but they may effect other software such as conformance checkers.
>>> and authoring tools,
>>> and indexers,
>>> and converters. ;)
>> …and people (authors)? In case of conflicts (as possibly with <cite>,
>> to stick with the old example), which spec would be authoritative?
> I imagine that you would get different answers on this list than if you  
> were to ask the same question on the WHATWG list.

Right. And different answers again if you were to ask the people who make  
content. In the end, since there is no formal enforcement of the spec, you  
should look at practice in the wild to see. Some people instinctively  
follow the W3C spec, some instinctively follow WHAT-WG, some people just  
look at whatever the first search result for their question actually says.

In the case of cite, part of the changes made to the W3C spec meant that  
what Google and Bing were putting in their search result pages is actually  
valid. I.e. the spec changed to match practice, which actually seems to  
match the advice that was given for most of the last decade-and-a-half. I  
believe that is in line with the principles of WHAT-WG so I am surprised  
that they maintain the restrictive definition they currently have.

The search  
led me to <http://www.htmlhelp.com/reference/html40/phrase/cite.html> Your  
mileage may well vary, especially if you use different search engines.  
Which suggests that often *none* of the specs (or people who make them)  
are really authorative…



Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Monday, 23 September 2013 12:46:38 UTC

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