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Re: An HTML language specification

From: Andrew Fedoniouk <news@terrainformatica.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2008 12:20:49 -0800
Message-ID: <491F2F21.9010705@terrainformatica.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, public-html@w3.org

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Nov 14, 2008, at 20:42, Mark Baker wrote:
>> I think we've had this discussion before 8-)
>> As often happens, Roy says it better than I could;
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Nov/0430.html
> It seems to me that Web authors seek to elicit browser behaviors when 
> they write HTML/CSS/JS. They don't just put abstract meaning out there. 
> (In the common case; I'm sure you can show an existence proof of the 
> opposite.) There are other kinds of Web clients, too, but generally 
> people publish content primarily to enable people to access the content 
> using browsers and the ability of other programs to consume the content 
> is just a bonus. (Of course, there are exceptions: Certain types of 
> black hat SEO target the behavior of search engines and the content 
> doesn't need to be useful in a browser.)
> I don't think it's useful to try to decouple "the language" from 
> "browser behavior" normatively. However, I think that producers of HTML 
> documents would benefit from an informative document that gives 
> instruction on how to produce conforming HTML5 documents. That is, the 
> following the guidance of the informative document should result in 
> conforming documents but the guidance wouldn't need to give all the 
> possible ways in which a document could be conforming.
> I think we don't need a separate normative language spec but instead we 
> need an informative authoring guide ("primer" in the W3C lingo, although 
> that word isn't great in the title of a document aimed at global 
> audiences). We already even have an editor (Lachy) signed up for the 
> authoring guide.

For me HTML5 specification appears as an attempt to provide unified 
document targeted on implementors (of HTML5 parsers) and content authors.


As an example consider these two sub-chapters: Creating an outline Distinguishing site-wide headings from page headings

of the chapter: http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#headings-and-sections

As an implementor of HTML5 parser I do not understand what to do with 
information provided there. It appears as it is useless for the need of 
parsing input stream into the DOM.

As a content author I also do not know a) how to read it and b) what to 
do at the end with, say, this:

"The algorithm that must be followed during a walk of a DOM subtree 
rooted at a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element to 
determine that element's outline is as follows:"

Who or what kind of software shall use this algorithm?

Question Générale: Whom this document is aimed for?

Andrew Fedoniouk.

Received on Saturday, 15 November 2008 20:21:32 UTC

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