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

On Apr 30, 2007, at 9:48 AM, Philip Taylor (Webmaster) wrote:

> The W3C should define HTML, and browser manufacturers should be  
> willing to accept that definition (or to reject it, at their own  
> risk: this is a free world),

Wouldn't it be better to take input from browser manufacturers into  
account up front, and make HTML5 something that they are willing,  
able and eager to implement in a conforming way? Keep in mind that  
the "risk" of rejecting standards that conflict with real-world  
requirements is very low. I get angry customer feedback when a web  
site doesn't work in Safari. But few people get worked up over us not  
passing every last test in some W3C test suite.

We've already tried the approach were standards specialists come up  
with the best design they can without much heed to browser  
implementation concerns. This resulted in XHTML2. If you'd like to  
see a different outcome to this effort, then consider treating  
browser vendors as allies and friends, not as obstacles.

> but it would be a great boost for standards were the "W3C HTML 5"  
> logo to be as applicable to /browsers/ as it will be to web pages.

Checking conformance thoroughly for browsers is much harder than  
doing so for documents, but if we come up with a comprehensive test  
suite then I hope passing all of it will be a badge of pride for  

In all these conversations we have to keep in mind, standards exist  
for a reason. They are not a platonic ideal but a practical tool. The  
primary purpose of standards is interoperability - making it possible  
for multiple independently developed components to work together. For  
the HTML spec this means a couple of things:

- A contract between content producers and consumers that content  
will be processed in a consistent way.

- A contract among different content consumers that they will handle  
content in much the same way, so that content only tested in one  
implementation has a better chance of working in others.

Making a spec that content consumers (most notably browsers) are  
unwilling to implement fails to meet either of these goals. So even  
though it may be satisfying to show those browser vendors who's boss,  
you may find it more productive to work with us constructively.


Received on Monday, 30 April 2007 17:28:58 UTC