Re: legacy of incompetence? [was: a compromise to the versioning debate]

On 15. apr. 2007, at 22.42, Preston L. Bannister wrote:

> One extreme interpretation of the proposed compatibility principles  
> is that HTML-next describes a parser and interpreter that can  
> handle any past W3C version or browser variant of HTML.  In this  
> case, version specifiers become unnecessary (and some of the prior  
> discussion makes more sense).  This would require a painfully large  
> specification, a modest implementation effort for mainstream  
> browser vendors, a large effort for new browser implementations,  
> and offer a very messy model for someone trying to learn HTML.   
> Note that larger specifications - just like larger programs - are  
> more likely to contain errors.

I share your concerns about the size of the specification and the  
corresponding error rate - especially since the language (according  
to the current proposal)  will be defined solely by means of english  
prose - no formal grammar, schema or anything.

> I suspect most folk in this discussion are not assuming the above  
> extreme interpretation.

I'm not so sure about that. There are some well respected people here  
who are really serious about this, although their ambition is limited  
to HTML variants that actually  present in the current web:

On 6. apr. 2007, at 22.28, Ian Hickson wrote:
> I'm not sure exactly what the HTML working group will be  
> specifying, but
> one specification that I personally will be writing is one that  
> defines
> exactly how a Web browser is to implement HTML support, in a way  
> that, if
> implemented, will result in all the hundreds of billions of  
> existing HTML
> documents being treated correctly.


Received on Sunday, 15 April 2007 23:17:15 UTC