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RE: discussions of HTML6

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 14:32:25 -0500
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C4B61F4514325C46B6E94479B905239706D911EE@MSFEXCH04.srunet.sruad.edu>
I think I may have been a culprit, Shelley, and perhaps the first [1]. It is hard to tell since the "search" function associated with the archives [2], doesn't seem to index that naughty first month [3]. I suspect some would rather forget that first month.

In truth, a part of the reason I refer to HTML6 is because of my fondness for that first month of the HTML WG, and a lingering sense of how very much that was discussed was never discussed as systematically as it could have been. My usage of the term, generally, I think, has revealed an ongoing frustration that a "needs analysis" was never conducted with any proper methodology. [4]

In HTML6, at least in my mind, the world will indeed sit down and brainstorm for several months before we begin to write the spec; the design principles will not be hammered into place sans proper debate; months of public testimony will not be discarded because of technicality, improper phrasing, or lack of energy to continue to defend what may be a good, but scantily clad idea. All well-intentioned ideas are probably good ones, if only the proper phrasing can be found to capture the underlying intentions. Such an undertaking will begin with the question of how best to facilitate human thought, language, meaning and social interaction on the web. It would begin as a broad inquiry rather than as a set of technical solutions to a finite, haphazard collection of pre-conceived questions.

I, of course, did like Chris Wilson's suggestion of <span style="text-decoration: overline">5</span> to improve upon HTML5.&oline;5 [5] It begs the question of whether HTML5 is, possibly, every bit as quixotic as HTML6.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007JanMar/0344.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/ 
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007JanMar/ 
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2007May/0057.html 
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/0225.html 

-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Shelley Powers
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 9:52 AM
Subject: discussions of HTML6

This is a general observation, based on discussions I've read in the
IRCs, the WhatWG email list, and in this email list. I keep seeing a
reference to HTML6 (and HTML7 and so on).

Specifications are not like applications.  There is no such thing as
an old or out of date specification, if what it defined continues to

Specifications for something like HTML need to be extremely stable
because it can take years to remove past mistakes. It's not like
popping out a new version of gimp. It's not even like popping out a
new operating system version, such as Snow Leopard or Windows 7. It
should be more like putting out a new version of the Internet
Protocol: something that's fundamental to the web, generating many
dependencies, and extremely significant expense and time when changed.

When we make statements such as "Oh, we can put that off to HTML6", or
"If this doesn't work, we'll just pull it in HTML6", what we doing, in
effect, is signaling this group's failure. Either we're trying to
include too much in the umbrella term of "HTML", including application
specific material, which is very volatile; or we're not dealing with
issues correctly, or facing problems and disconnects directly.

Regardless, any mention of HTML6 in this group should be treated as an
admission of failure on the part of this group.

We should be looking at HTML5, as an entity that can meet the needs
for a web page markup, and associate DOM, both now, and in the future.

Received on Friday, 4 December 2009 19:33:19 UTC

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