Re: Support Existing Content (was: Proposed Design Principles review)

[Trying this a second time, please excuse it if we end up with doubles.]

On 4/27/07, Roger Johansson <> wrote:
> On 27 apr 2007, at 10.32, Doug Schepers wrote:
> > Now I'm sure I disagree with it.
> Me too.

Somehow I think there is still much confusion surrounding the goals of
this working group, its proposed design "principles", and the goals of
the WHAT WG's "Web Applications 1.0" (AKA "HTML5") draft.

First, the primary goal of the WHAT WG was to evolve the web by
iterating on the web's most prevalent markup language: HTML. This goal
is embodied in the "HTML5" draft document. Due to HTML 4's lack
specified parsing requirements, browsers have implemented "tag soup"
parsing to handle content on the web today. The "HTML5" draft document
rectifies this situation by exhaustively specifying the browser
behavior that was implemented (and the behavior now required) to
handle the content on the web today. In addition, the "HTML5" draft
document introduces and specifies several completely new features to

Second, the proposed design principles of this working group are
intended to guide the group as it adopts sections of the "HTML5" draft
document [1].

Third, the primary goal of this working group is the production of "a
language evolved from HTML4 for describing the semantics of documents
and applications on the World Wide Web."[2] That language, presumably
called "HTML 5", is to be the proper successor to HTML 4.

To summarize:

 - There is *one* primary goal for this working group: the HTML 5
specification document.
  - The are *two* primary objectives in the WHAT WG's "HTML5" draft:

    1. A specification of the parsing requirements *for browser
vendors* to render the content on the web today.
    2. A specification of a language evolved from HTML 4 with new
language features *for content authors* that relies on those parsing

The success of this group requires a conspicuous separation between
these two objectives, one concerning only browser vendors and one
primarily concerning content authors.

The aforementioned proposed design principle, "Support Existing
Content" applies wholly and solely to #1 on this list. This principle
is not debatable in the eyes of the WHAT WG and those who are
acquainted with the open future of the web. Any output of this working
group that breaks compatibility with the current content on the web
will be ignored by the web at large and pushed, through ignorance,
into obscurity.

[Everyone] Please understand these points in full before deciding
whether or not to continue membership in this working group.


[1] - I'm aware that the proposal to adopt the WHAT WG's draft for a
starting point in this working group is still in the voting process,
but realistically this group's effort is sunk without it, so it is
safe to assume it.
[2] -

Brad Fults

Received on Friday, 27 April 2007 22:06:35 UTC