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

On Sun 4/29/2007 6:54 PM Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

More specifically, here are my problems with your suggested wording:

On Apr 29, 2007, at 7:50 AM, Murray Maloney wrote:
> SupportExistingContent: The HTML WG will document the usage of HTML
> as it is practiced by popular web browers, and deployed on the web 
> and on
> intranets throughout the world. Our goal should be to facilitate 
> understanding
> of extant content, even in the face of unusual and unexpected 
> syntax or position.
> If any user agent is capable of an understanding an HTML construct, 
> it would
> be ideal for all user agents to be capable of that understanding.

1) Usage of HTML is not practiced by web browsers. 
[and so forth...]
My goodness what changes might occur in just a couple of days! First of all, I am not weighing in to disagree with either of you. I guess I am writing with some sort of newfound empathy for the difficulty of your undertaking. I for one am pleased with the sincerity of your attempt to converge on agreement.
Just a mere few days ago, the principle looked like this:
> 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.

I was about to pipe up and say "oh good! I understand it now." I had migrated to a position where I now understood it, though I was uncertain if I agreed with it or not. [Hey -- this is big progress for a fellow who doesn't care for design principles!]
Then Doug chimed in saying yes he now understood it, but he disagreed with it. I will confess I was too tired to understand quite why he didn't agree.
Then I observed several rapid exchanges between Murray and Maciej and some others and I thought, oh good -- they will figure all this out and come up with the perfect thing -- everyone's concerns will be crafted into a good sensible statement. 
Next thing I knew a couple of days had gone by and now there is a version that I have to admit I don't understand. I am certain that the language we are looking at has valid rationale that can be gleaned by reading back through the last couple of days' dialogue, but it will take some polishing I think, 'til it is ready for popular consumption. I am sensing real convergence between more than two parties, but the thought rather crossed my mind ... what is the rush?
If we imagine that there are two points of view that must be satisfied, then as soon as we get ready to go to press, we discover a third. And so forth.
I worry that the pace of revision has gotten a bit frenzied. I see the number of threads that some of you are involved in and I start worrying about the well-being of the people involved. I don't know any of you  personally, but seriously, do we need to move so fast? We are, in accordance with the stated purpose of the design principles, attempting to discover consensus. That is a process that might take a while. In grad school I came to the conclusion that if there were N faculty members and M grad students all getting together for a Friday afternoon get-together, it would take time proportional to O(2^N + M)  to decide where to eat dinner. That was a long time ago (faculty were much more important then too), so I assume that someone has found better algorithms by now ( I did suggest a linear time algorithm once, but folks were too scared to try it) . But realistically, in this situaton N=363 and counting. So what is the rush?
I think the W3C might be far more responsive to a request to postpone due dates on deliverables than it would be to a request to modify charters??? Maybe not. But it's not worth anyone losing sleep over in my opinion.
sincere regards,
David Dailey

Received on Sunday, 29 April 2007 23:51:13 UTC