W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > November 2008

Re: An HTML language specification vs. a browser specification

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 18:36:12 -0800
Message-ID: <4920D89C.2020906@sicking.cc>
To: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
CC: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, public-html@w3.org

Robert J Burns wrote:
> Hi Jonas,
> On Nov 16, 2008, at 8:06 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> Robert J Burns wrote:
>>> HI Boris,
>>> On Nov 16, 2008, at 1:39 PM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>>>> The key thing is that we would be able to make the draft(s) serve 
>>>>> the needs of users and authors and not only a few browser implementors.
>>>> Good luck getting consensus on any of that, then.  Or better yet, 
>>>> implementations...
>>>> Note that the draft(s) do need to serve all three constituencies, 
>>>> but they also need to be implementable.  The other option, of 
>>>> course, is to retrace the steps of XHTML2.
>>> Again, you're creating false dichotomies. I never once suggested that 
>>> the parsing should be done in a way that in not implementable or 
>>> doesn't serve the implementor constituency What I'm saying is that 
>>> parsing should:
>>> 1) be compatible with existing content
>>> 2) improved to allow for forward migration
>>> 3) abstracted from the HTML vocabulary (markup vocabulary and DOM) 
>>> and the browser behavior (what browsers do with the objects created 
>>> according to the specified vocabulary once parsed).
>> Excellent! We all agree. If you look at the HTML5 spec that is done. 
>> There are separate chapters in the HTML5 spec for the vocabulary and 
>> the parsing.
> There are separate chapters, yes. However those are the weakest parts of 
> the draft right now. Separating them out and finding more specialized 
> editors for those parts would go a long way toward improving the draft 
> and getting it out the door quicker.

I notice a clear lack of names of these editors.

I think everyone agrees with you on one thing. Ideally the spec should 
be split up. For example splitting out the markup language from the 
window object from the database APIs from the websocket API would be 

The main reason that hasn't happened is because of a lack of editors. So 
simply saying that you think they would be better as separate specs 
isn't really very constructive. Once we have these editors named we can 

>> So if all that the TAG is requesting then I think we are done.
>>> The presumption you're conveying is that these first two cannot be 
>>> done simultaneously, and that's simply not true
>> I'm not sure who is claiming that. In any case they are wrong, the 
>> HTML5 spec is a clear proof of that.
> The point is that the HTML5 draft, as it currently stands, does not go 
> far enough to achieve these goals.

The current HTML5 draft does more to bring HTML on the web forward than 
anything w3c has done since the publication of HTML4.

Now I'm sure more can be done, but I'd like to see specific suggestions 
counter proposals before giving up work on the current draft. Preferably 
in the form of drafts.

/ Jonas
Received on Monday, 17 November 2008 02:38:16 UTC

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