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What problem is this task force trying to solve and why?

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 04:49:25 -0800 (PST)
To: public-html-xml@w3.org
Message-ID: <1919143829.53198.1292676565908.JavaMail.root@cm-mail03.mozilla.org>
TimBL mentioned the creation of this task force at TPAC, his talk had the word "convergence" in the title. I think the word "unification" was used, too, but I don't see that word in the TPAC day minutes.

After hallway discussions, I concluded that different people expect different things from this task force, such as putting Namespaces into text/html or making text/html parseable using an XML parser.

I think the first question this task force needs to answer is: What problem is this task force trying to solve and why?

Since I'm posing the question, I think I should give my answer to it.

I see a tendency by some (not all) people who are primarily familiar with XML to want to change HTML when they see HTML5. Typical wishes are putting the Namespaces in XML syntax into HTML or making HTML parse more like XML. I see this tendency to want to change HTML to be more like XML as a problem. It's natural for people who've worked with XML to want familiarity, but it does not follow that HTML or the Web community would be well served by changing HTML. I suspect substantial changes to HTML would be damaging. What I'd like this task force to solve is to make people who are primarily familiar with XML no longer to react to HTML by wanting to change it. Maybe this could be accomplished by simply raising awareness of the Infoset Coercion section of HTML5 and its implementation in tools. Maybe this could be accomplished by giving XML non-Draconian error handling, since this trait of HTML seems to be considered an advantage over XML in hindsight. (I realize that there also exists the opposite point of view that vigorously considers Draconian error handling to be an advantage.)

(As far as I can tell, I'm the only participant in this task force who is better known for doing HTML things than for doing XML things and the other participants are more famous for doing XML than for doing HTML things. It's unclear if this shows a bias on the part of the inviter or on the part of the accepters of the invitation.)

Henri Sivonen
Received on Saturday, 18 December 2010 12:50:00 UTC

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