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

From: Elliott Sprehn <esprehn@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 13:21:49 -0400
Message-Id: <533F324E-4D41-4121-AD20-7415B52AD3C1@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
To: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>

On Apr 30, 2007, at 12:20 PM, Murray Maloney wrote:

> At 04:49 PM 4/30/2007 +0100, Gareth Hay wrote:
>> Isn't the whole idea of the, so-called HTML5, that the page will
>> render according to the specification in all browsers?
> That is not a possibility unless I am missing something.
> Browsers -- by which I assume that you mean that class of browser
> which is found on computer desktops -- are not all there is.
> There are also aural and tactile browsers. Not to mention wet-ware  
> browsers.
> I can read HTML. I can parse it. I can understand most of what is  
> intended by
> non-interactive HTML pages. I am able to treat HTML as if it is a  
> continuum
> from HTML 2.0 to what I may receive over HTTP at any moment. Is the  
> HTML 5
> spec intended to leave all non-desktop browsers in the dark?

No, and I don't see anyone suggesting this. The use cases you mention  
are precisely the reason for the Universal Access, Separation of  
Concerns and Media Independence design principals.

> So, I may be alone -- consider this a cry in the dark -- but I  
> still don't think
> that the browser should define HTML. That was the POV that was  
> pomulgated
> by Mosaic and Netscape developers back in 1994. I didn't buy it  
> then and I
> don't buy it now. HTML is more than what the browser guys say it is.
> Regards,
> Murray

First and foremost the various browser vendors are businesses. The WG  
was intended to be a middle ground where they could all meet and  
could come to an agreement for a common set of fundamental browser  
features they would all implement for mutual benefit. This was the  
best alternative to fighting it out on the web by introducing  
features to 1-up each other, which, as we all know, was quite harmful  
to the web.

This is exactly what the HTML WG is today. A meeting ground where the  
browser vendors, the content authors, and web content consumers can  
meet and come to a common goal for what the future of the web should be.

This working group alone has no authority to tell the browser vendors  
what to do. They're here of their own good will because it's what's  
best for the web, because they mutually benefit. Trying to force them  
to implement something which we (as a third party) feel is the  
"correct" solution, but which they fundamentally disagree with will  
fail. We can already see this with XHTML2. If the browser vendors  
don't support it, the viability of the specification is greatly reduced.

This working group is here to recommend what HTML5 should be like,  
and to persuade the browser vendors to agree by making it beneficial  
for them to implement it.

This working group isn't about purity, it's about compromise.

- Elliott
Received on Monday, 30 April 2007 17:22:02 UTC

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