User agent requirements and document conformance (was: Re: Cleaning House)

On Thu, 03 May 2007 09:06:10 +0200, Patrick H. Lauke  
<> wrote:
>> The other reason I think this proposal is not a good idea is that it  
>> needlessly complicates browsers. Authors will have conformance checkers  
>> and browser developers tools that will hint them at the right solution.  
>> No need to change the rendering from previous versions of HTML.
> Browsers can keep their rendering of B, I, etc if they so desire (and,  
> if the desire is not to break the display of a lot of current pages out  
> there, they will)...but that doesn't mean those elements need to remain  
> in the spec, IMHO.

I understand some people feel uncomfortable about <b>, <i>, <small>, <sup>  
and <sub> being conforming for documents in the WHATWG HTML5 proposal.  
There is reasoning behind allowing those to be used by document authors.  
For the sake of this argument, however, lets discuss something like  
<isindex> and <center>.

<isindex> is unlikely to be ever allowed to be used by document authors.  
However, it still is part of the user agent requirements. It has special  
parsing rules and <input name=isindex> (among other tags the result of  
using <isindex> in HTML) will have special form submission rules.

<center> is also unlikely to be allowed. Yet it needs to be part of the  
parsing algorithm and part of the rendering requirements for visual  
desktop browsers to ensure interoperability. This helps new user agents to  
enter the market more easily and keeps the web relatively open, for  
instance. It also helps us interpreting documents we created in the past.

So I'd like to know if your argument is about some of the current elements  
allowed by the specification such as <b> or if it is about user agents  
requirements in the parsing section, rendering section, et cetera. There  
is a line between those two which I think is useful to clearly mark.

Anne van Kesteren

Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 07:22:05 UTC