W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > December 2009

Re: Bug 8404 -- taking it to the lists

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 16:12:30 -0600
Message-ID: <643cc0270912011412w4502a4b5v3927b43a437dcbbf@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 3:49 PM, Laura Carlson
<laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Shelley,
>> True, people will want to use any element in any way, but that doesn't
>> mean we have to codify such usage.
> This all seems to go back to the "Pave The Cowpaths" Design Principle
> [1], which has been argued explicitly and implicitly for over two and
> a half years in many discussions.

I've given up on cowpaths.

For the last ten years, HTML has told page authors to use summary on
tables, and definition lists (dl) for dialogs, that dt is definition
term, and dd is definition description. Now, suddenly, seemingly,
we've shot the cows.

No one wants to keep bad practices, like using tables for layout. But
too many of the changes seem arbitrary, and based on opinion and

> The HTML 5 design principles never achieved consensus and here we are,
> trying to reach Last Call. HTML5 principles are a “work in progress”
> [2].
> There is no meeting of the minds on the basic principles at this late
> date. So it is difficult to agree on specifics. We keep having the
> same types of circular debates here [3] [4]  and elsewhere [5] [6].

At least the figure discussion is sparkly new. Well, kind of. It's a
new path for an old story.

What's happening now is to be expected.

The odd thing about work that impacts on many different groups of
people, is that at some point you have to work towards general
agreement with enough of the community to give credence to what you
create. If you don't sooner, you will have to later. And the later you
wait, the more contentious the issues, the larger the disagreements,
the wider the chasms between groups.

Interesting the discussion in the accessibility growth. Thanks for
pointing it out here. I don't always keep up with the ally group's

> Best Regards,
> Laura



> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/thread.html#msg940
> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#sotd
> [3] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=8404
> [4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Dec/thread.html#msg5
> [5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2009Dec/0002.html
> [6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2009Dec/0003.html
> --
> Laura L. Carlson
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 22:13:05 UTC

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