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Re: DOCTYPE versioning change proposal (ISSUE-4)

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 09:06:15 -0600
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0912010706h6ab5a00s22d5031e52e5bb9b@mail.gmail.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 2:00 AM, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com> wrote:
> Here is a concrete change proposal for ISSUE-4.  This text replaces section
> 9.1.1 (“The DOCTYPE”) in the current Editor’s draft.
>
> This issue has been discussed at length over several years.   I’ve reviewed
> all the discussion I can find, and it seems like allowing a evolving string
> would have some advantages for those that want one without requiring a
> version string and disallowing any behavior changes based on it.

DOCTYPEs are still one of the most fragile, hacky, bug-risking parts
of the HTML specification.  A seemingly trivial change can result in a
standard-triggering doctype becoming a quirks-mode doctype, which can
completely ruin the display of a page, and even (in certain
circumstances) change the way the page is parsed.  Is there a strong
reason for preferring to embed this information in the doctype
construct, rather than in a more stable, opaque, sane construct like
<meta>?

Per Philip`'s suggestion in IRC, perhaps something like this:
<meta name="designed-for-specs" content="http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/">

or

<meta name="designed-for-specs"
content="http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-html5-20090825/
http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-rdfa-in-html-20091015/">

This provides all the detail that is being requested, is completely
safe, and has no expectation of actually changing the rendering (I
know you don't expect this DOCTYPE info to do so either, but other
people will, so it's at least a minor point against it).

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 15:06:56 UTC

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