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Re: ACTION-95, ISSUE-65: Plan to publish a new WD of HTML-5

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 14:05:43 +0900
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20090128050455.GA20109@sideshowbarker>

Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, 2009-01-28 01:04 +0000:

> Mike has *not* done this, at least not according to him. He has, according 
> to what he has said, merely started writing the first part of a document 
> with the same audience as the HTML5 draft.

I've never said that the document has the same audience as the
HTML5 draft. What I did was to take a portion of the text from the
Audience section of the HTML5 and copy it into my draft, changing
one instance of the word "authors" to "producers".

The complete statement in my draft is this:

  This specification is intended for producers of documents that
  use the features defined in this specification, and implementors
  of tools that are intended to conform to this specification, and
  individuals wishing to establish the correctness of documents or
  implementations with respect to the requirements of this

Anyway, from the fact that it has a portion of the same audience
statement as the HTML5 draft, it does not necessarily follow that
my draft has the same audience as the HTML5 draft -- because I
think the audience statement above is fairly general, and could be
put into just about any spec that defines some kind of "document".

> Such a draft would have to include all manner of implementation
> conformance criteria, DOM APIs, parser rules, etc.

I don't think that's a point of fact, and I don't think it
necessarily follows at all from the audience statement above.

The audience statement above does not qualify at all what type of
implementors or tools it is referring to. It doesn't mention "HTML
user agents" or "browsers" or "HTML parsers" or "tools that
implement the DOM" or "tools that expose DOM APIs".

A "tool" could be something as simple as a plug-in for Vim or
Emacs that enables context-sensitive editing of HTML documents, or
it could be a part of a CMS that just needs to generate valid HTML
output, but doesn't itself need to parse it

All that said, I don't think it would be a problem even if it
stated that it did have the same audience as the HTML5 draft.
Having the same audience would not then necessarily require it to
contain details about DOM APIs, parser rules, or many of the other
things that the HTML5 draft has -- because it's explicitly not
intended to cover everything that audience would need to know.
It instead just covers a specific, focused part of what that
audience would need to know -- namely, what a "conformant
document" is.

Anyway, I'm still not claiming it has the exact same audience as
the HTML5 draft. I think it would be more accurate to say that
HTML5 draft actually has multiple audiences, and that my draft
does also, and that there is some overlap among the audiences for
both documents. (The set of audiences for the HTML5 draft is
certainly much bigger, since it addresses HTML consumers instead
of just HTML producers.)

And if you take the argument that everything needs to be defined
in the same specification to its logical end, the HTML5 draft
itself would actually need to contain much more than it does now.
Just because an implementor of a particular spec needs some body
of information, it of course does not follow that the information
all needs to be within one document. If that were the case, the
normative spec for the XMLHttpRequest object would need to be in
the HTML5 draft (and the spec for content-type sniffing and the
Origin header and Web Sockets API, and the Web Sockets protocol).

Instead, as you've noted elsewhere, HTML5 already consists of at
least eight separate specs:


Michael(tm) Smith
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 05:05:56 UTC

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