W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2007

Re: Design Principles Document update

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 09:58:48 -0700
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070330165848.GA19235@ridley.dbaron.org>
On Friday 2007-03-30 10:52 -0500, Murray Maloney wrote:
> If you want to go on the stump to promote your favorite coding style, knock
> yourselves out. Just don't try to tie my hands with a design principle.
> As I said before, I would rather see a set of specific REQUIREMENTS
> for more/better ways to encode metadata rather than codify a 
> VisibleMetadata bias.

I think this is more than just promoting a favorite coding style.
Design details in formats and in APIs often make it easier or harder
for authors / API users to get certain things right, such as
internationalization, accessibility, device independence, or

It is entirely reasonable for the designers of a format to want to
make it so that authors / API users who aren't thinking about X (one
of the above things) at the moment to do the right thing for it.  I
think this principle is currently better-accepted for
internationalization than it is for the other areas.

The right way to get authors to do something right isn't to yell at
them; it's to make it easier to do right than to do wrong.  Having
to make lists of guidelines like [1] and [2] indicates a failure of
the earlier design process.

(In this message, I'm not arguing for the VisibleMetadata design
principle, although I do support it.  I'm arguing against the
statement that it is in a class of things that should not be design


[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/

L. David Baron                                <URL: http://dbaron.org/ >
           Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation

Received on Friday, 30 March 2007 16:58:53 UTC

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