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[Bug 8365] Remove the Web Browsers Section 6

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2009 20:08:33 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1ND1gf-0005Lo-Ps@wiggum.w3.org>

--- Comment #3 from Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>  2009-11-24 20:08:33 ---
Comment with my Apple representative hat on: 

Apple is a developer and vendor of multiple HTML UAs, including a web browser,
a widget runtime, a mail client, a chat application, a help viewer, a widget
IDE, a dictionary application, and a consumer-level Web page creator(*). All of
these UAs are based on the same underlying engine, WebKit. In addition, we ship
WebKit as public API on Mac OS X and iPhone OS, leading to many more innovative
types of HTML UAs.

Our experience is that most of the contents of section 6 are applicable to all
HTML UAs that support scripting, not just web browsers. A lot of the other
contents of section 6 are applicable to any HTML UA that supports navigation,
even navigation by opening an external browser window, whether or not that UA
also supports scripting. Our experience is that nearly every kind of HTML UA
that we have needed to build supports at least one of scripting or navigation.
Some parts of section 6 (in particular the definitions of link relations) are
applicable even to UAs that do not support scripting *or* navigation.

I think the problems with section 6 are twofold: (1) It should not be called
"Web Browsers" because its contents apply to many kinds of HTML clients; I
could not find anything that is exclusively browser-specific. (2) Some of the
contents (such as origins, Window, navigation, etc) are actually broader than
just HTML; they should apply even when viewing SVG or MathML or pure XML
documents. In theory these could be factored out but the details of how to do
so are complex. Just tearing the whole section out would leave many broken
cross-references. Also, some parts, such as link relations and the app cache
are clearly HTML specific as they define semantics and processing rules for
parts of HTML.

In conclusion, based on our experience at Apple, removing the "Web Browsers"
section of the HTML5 specification would hurt rather than help its usability
for non-browser UAs. In addition, it would have the negative ramifications of
leaving many broken cross-references in the remainder of the spec, and of
leaving some parts of the HTML language underspecified or undefined.

* - Safari / MobileSafari, Dashboard, Mail / MobileMail, iChat, Help Viewer,
Dashcode, Dictionary, iWeb.

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Received on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 20:08:42 UTC

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