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

Re: Support Existing Content

From: David Hyatt <hyatt@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 17:13:04 -0700
Message-Id: <979CCA9E-517F-43F5-83B1-BB5E11888A2B@apple.com>
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, tina@greytower.net, "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
To: Philip & Le Khanh <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>

Wow, wall of text.  They're called paragraph breaks.  Please use  
them. ;)

On Apr 30, 2007, at 4:56 PM, Philip & Le Khanh wrote:

> Strict already pointing
> the way to a leaner, cleaner, language, once again the browser
> implementors are seeking to re-introduce language bloat.  But
> this time they are doing so in a way that is far harder for the
> W3C to resist : rather than each going his/her own way, they are
> actively working /with/ each other to either retain a feature
> that has already been formally deprecated, or to define a new set
> of  "added value" elements; and whenever one of these is called
> into question, they defend its retention/introduction by screaming
> "interoperability" or "compatibility with the web".  But
> "interoperability" as they are choosing to define it is
> exactly the same as the boy with the football : it's his
> ball, so he decides who plays and to which rules.

This is not true.  Browser vendors (among others, let's not assume  
that we are the only ones who have this agenda) would like a  
specification that reflects the real Web... a specification that a  
new vendor could implement and expect to work with most of the  
existing Web.  This specification by definition would include  
language features that may not have been well-designed or that may  
not fit in that well with the rest of HTML.

I do not see anything wrong with this, as long as such features are  
labeled in the spec for what they are.  I also don't see anything  
wrong with the W3C taking a hardline stance and saying that HTML5  
should be a strict subset of the real Web.  However, that isn't  
really a specification that I'm interested in being involved in,  
since much of what has happened with the HTML5 WhatWG work has been  
fantastic for increasing interoperability across all four major  
browser engines.  This work has been invaluable for helping the Web  
become more accessible to alternative browsers.

> And
> as Tina has frequently pointed out, "compatibility with
> the web" simply means accepting that virtually all the
> tag soup that has been churned out in the past is, in
> fact, "valid HTML", so long as you are willing to redefine
> "valid" using Humpty Dumpty's definition [*].

I think you could define multiple levels of validity.  A spec could  
include elements that are considered poor practice and label them as  
such, and conformance checkers could be designed to help encourage  
authors to reach the highest level of conformance possible (thus  
avoiding these poor practice elements).

Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 00:14:12 UTC

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