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Re: Level of specification detail (Was Re: Proposal to Adopt HTML5)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 10:24:44 -0500
Message-ID: <461CFDBC.70006@w3.org>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Cc: Henrik Dvergsdal <henrik.dvergsdal@hibo.no>, public-html@w3.org

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Apr 2007 11:28:36 +0200, Henrik Dvergsdal 
> <henrik.dvergsdal@hibo.no> wrote:
>> If we put HTML4.01 at one end of the scale and ECMA-262 at the other, 
>> where should we place HTML5?
>> If we go for a very high level of detail, I think it will be useful to 
>> have a superficial, syntactically oriented author view on the spec so 
>> that authors/developers can share the same source without having to 
>> relate to all the algorithms.
>> In most cases authors/developers don't need the algorithms - they just 
>> need to validate the syntax and then check with the browsers if things 
>> work/look ok.
> Instead of talking about how to do the specification perhaps you should 
> have a look at the proposal and comment on where it doesn't meet your 
> needs. I think that would be a more constructive way of moving forward.

I don't see any reason to suppress this sort of discussion of
the proposal.

Since you represent Opera and Opera supports
it, you're not exactly neutral, either.

There is a natural tension between writing the sort of precise,
exhaustive specification that meets the needs of implementors,
and writing for the audience of authors, who mostly need a bunch
of examples to copy from and a bit of explanatory material.

When we developed OWL, the Web Ontology Language
(http://www.w3.org/2004/OWL/ ), we had enough
writing resources to explain the language from 5 different
   Use Cases and Requirements
   Abstract Syntax and Semantics
   Test Cases

In this Working Group, so far we seem to have some
emerging design principles to supplement the specification.
  (http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/ProposedDesignPrinciples )

I can think of a number of other useful tasks. I think
I'll follow up about that separately...

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Wednesday, 11 April 2007 15:24:54 UTC

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