Re: Rethinking HTML 5

At 01:41 +1000 UTC, on 2007-05-03, Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> Shane McCarron wrote:


>> In the case of XHTML 2 the plan was always to have an implementors guide
> What exactly is an implementers guide?  Would that contain normative
> requirements, or just be an informative note?
>> that went along with it to provide the sort of information I think you
>> are talking about; but without confusing the authoring community with a
>> lot of data that, frankly, is very domain specific.
> Specifications are aimed more at implementers than they are at authors,
> simply because it is vital that the spec can actually be implemented.
> Book, tutorials and resources can be tailored to be more suitable for
> authors.

Sorry, but I don't believe for one moment that that will actually work. If we
want to see more conforming documents out there, the spec will have to be
made as easy to understand for authors (and authoring tool vendors!) as
possible. The past has shown that leaving that up to third-parties is a very,
very bad idea: authors will not find the 1 decent tutorial inbetween the
1000s of nonsensical ones.

I recognise what you're saying. Indeed it is essential for the spec to be
implementable by browser vendors. But we absolutely must do our very best to
come up with a way to make that same spec a truly usable resource for
authors. Let's not shrug this off so easily.

I'm not sure yet *how* to best solve this. I think as a WG we should consider
ourselves obligated to provide a really good tutorial with the spec (to be
written and published synchronous, not as an afterthought). But given that
the spec itself will be the normative document, it too will have to be as
understandable as possible for all intended audiences.

(Simon Pieters' CSS approach is certainly helpful, but won't be enough for
most authors. The spec's language itself, the content, needs to address this.)

Btw, I haven't yet read enough of the Web Apps 1.0 to have an idea how big or
small this problem currently is. I'm just talking about the principle, and
from the experience of authors finding previous HTML specs way too hard to

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <>

Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 16:51:06 UTC