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

A view from the trenches

From: Peter Howkins <peter.howkins@oregan.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 17:58:32 +0100
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070430175832.A3439@oregan.net>

As a person that is likely to have to impliment HTML5 in code at some 
point in the future I thought I'd express a few thoughts on things that 
might make my life a little easier.

1) Tests

 Lots of them please, covering expected behaviour and edge cases. For 
tests of new features that have an impact on layout etc, but where no 
implimentation yet exists consider having a graphic of how you imagine the 
feature will look, so we have a reference to work against.

2) Specify failure behaviour

 The spec is likely to be full of wording such as "The element will 
contain XYZ", I'd like the spec to suggest what we should do when it 
doesn't. By specifying the failure behaviour as well as the correct 
behaviour there will be less chances for browsers to operate differently 
by handling failure in varying ways. 

3) Version number

 I'm not a supporter of the idea in principle but practicality must take 
precedence. If the behaviour of the spec differs from previous versions 
of HTML then I need a way to know which method to use, a version number is
as good as any other method.
 If failure behaviour is specified (as I suggest in point 2) and that 
differs from older versions, a version number or similar is also needed.

4) Tables for layout

 People use tables for layout, laying things out on a grid is easy. Don't 
feel too bad that people don't want to use css for layout, consider it a 
user (content designer) led trend. 

5) Not too many new semantic tags

 If new semantic tags are being proposed that are little more than 
formating options consider not implimenting it, eg <foobarxyz> with a 
bit of style is not too far from <div style="foobarxyz"> in which the 
user gets to specify the style.


Peter Howkins - Senior Software Engineer - Core Team 
Oregan Networks UK Ltd                    Tel: +44  (0) 20 8846 0990
The White Building, 52-54 Glentham Road   Fax: +44  (0) 20 8646 0999
Barnes, London. SW13 9JJ, United Kingdom  WWW: http://www.oregan.net/
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 07:58:26 UTC

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