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

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> I renamed this principle to "Support Existing Content". Here is the new
> SupportExistingContent: Browsers implementing the new version of HTML
> should still be able to handle existing content. Ideally, it should be
> possible to process web documents and applications via an HTML5
> implementation even if they were authored against older implementations
> and do not specifically request HTML5 processing.
This re-statement is much improved over the prior, BTW.

On 4/27/07, Brad Fults <> wrote:

> [snip]

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

With the minor quibble that (1) should be parsing and behavior to render
content on the web today - the distinction between (1) and (2) seems to be
the point driving a lot of discussion.

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.

As a guy writing web applications, my interest in an increment forward from
HTML 4.  In addition to the prose I do hope we can come up with a test
suite, so that there is less chance of (mis-) interpretation of the spec,
and differences between browser implementations.  Given a through test
suite, the problem of differing browser implementations should reduce
radically with each successive generation of browsers and HTML.  A
well-crafted set of tests force us towards a single common interpretation of
the spec.

Received on Saturday, 28 April 2007 15:08:04 UTC