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Re: Support Existing Content

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 19:06:31 +0100 (BST)
To: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
cc: "T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>, dbaron@dbaron.org, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0705011859580.5421@localhost>
On Tue, 1 May 2007, Håkon Wium Lie wrote:

> Also sprach T.V Raman:
> > Why aren't we defining Javascript the same way as what you
> > describe --i.e. make every failing program "somehow work".
> > Why aren't we even defining CSS that way i.e. "somehow make every
> > CSS rule parse and mean something."
> > Why is HTML special?
> CSS was designed with error recovery built into the syntax. If an
> unknown property or unit is used, the CSS specification describes how
> to handle it.

I think that we may differ on how effective CSS's error handling 
really is. It's great that there is a well defined way to resume 
parsing after finding something that isn't understood or which 
violates the grammar in someway, but CSS hasn't helped developers 
who are struggling to deal with browsers that vary considerably in 
their support for CSS. You have to learn all kinds of subtle rules 
of thumb which is a great shame for something that should be really 

In fact, one could say that the problems with CSS and scripting 
dwarf any interoperability problems with HTML itself. However, the 
idea of converging on the parsing algorithm for HTML is certainly 

  Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 18:06:57 UTC

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