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

Re: Support Existing Content

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 17:55:43 -0700
Message-Id: <FB2FCF3D-C6B1-44AC-9C52-87870B30A5A2@apple.com>
Cc: W3C List <public-html@w3.org>, "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Philip & Le Khanh <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>

On May 1, 2007, at 3:37 PM, Philip & Le Khanh wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> On May 1, 2007, at 8:19 AM, Gareth Hay wrote:
>>> To address the point I do understand, I agree, no one is perfect,  
>>> but are you really suggest something akin to using a C compiler  
>>> to take some pseudo code input and attempt to produce executable  
>>> code, by hook or crook?
>> A C compiler runs on the developer's machine. This is different  
>> from content produced by one party and consumed by many others  
>> using a variety of tools, where there is more benefit to being  
>> lenient in what you accept.
> That is exactly the situation that obtains with "C" programs.  One
> person writes code, others attempt to compile it using their
> compiler, their libraries, their operating system ...

That's not the case with many (perhaps most) "C" programs, which are  
compiled by the author/vendor and distributed in binary form. Writing  
portable "C" code that will compile on any compiler/OS/library  
combination is much harder than writing vanilla "C" code, largely  
because the spec has a lot of undefined behavior which different  
platforms treat differently. I hope we don't adopt a model where  
writing HTML that targets more than one browser is extremely difficult.

Even for "C" programs distributed as source, the number of people  
compiling it is much smaller than the number of people using it, and  
those compiling it are comparative experts. Furthermore, it's  
possible to patch the source to work on compilers and platforms not  
anticipated by the original author and share this patch, but there's  
no way to patch a web site.

> A pretty good parallel to the way HTML is produced and consumed, in  
> fact.

I don't think so. Every end user has to "compile" everything -  
there's no distributor who will give you a precompiled form and  
handle the errors that only an expert could understand and fix.

Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 00:56:52 UTC

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