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Re: Paving Cowpaths

From: Chris Adams <chris@tuesdaybegins.com>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 13:09:37 -0400
Message-ID: <c4b377210705211009x1a8fabf8h2f0a48d9ddc5d26a@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Cc: "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>, "Debi Orton" <oradnio@gmail.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
It is very true that most authors will probably not read the full spec;
however I agree that an guide to authors for adopting HTML 5 would be a
tremendous help for encouraging developers to write correct code, or for
updating legacy HTML*.

I taught myself HTML 4 about 10 years ago with a book from Sam's Publishing.
After finding this book in my library last night I read through parts of it
again just to see how much the philosophy of best practice has changed since
1998. Wow, Javascript and Dynamic HTML was considered a fun toy at best, and
CSS was too unstable to be used efficiently.

I myself have grown in my skills quite a bit since then, but I have also
worked with developers quite recently who have not. Most authors are not
willing to change they way they think every couple of months and will code
in whatever style that the learned first.

If we could not only provide a spec to the browser vendors but also an
authoring guide that can be used directly by authors or by people writing
how-to books (or college textbooks god forbid) for the next generation, it
would ensure that pages developed now will not have as serious a problem
with backwards compatibility that we are facing now.


*wow, I never thought I would use the phrase legacy HTML this quickly.

On 5/21/07, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com> wrote:
> David P. Dailey wrote:
> >In my mind there are sorta two different things that a spec provides (and
> probably more):
> >
> >1. Instructions to folks who make browsers
> >
> >2. Instructions to folks who make web pages
> As much as I'd love to subscribe to this philosophy, David, I think the
> problem is that the folks who make web pages (to make a gross
> generalization) don't read the HTML spec except as a last resort.  They type
> into Notepad (or similar text editor).  The browser is their error-checker.
> -Chris

Received on Monday, 21 May 2007 17:09:46 UTC

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