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Re: Design Principles

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 17:29:16 -0700
Cc: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Message-id: <0646249D-E80F-4FDE-ACDA-1129CA0C75C2@apple.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>

On May 19, 2009, at 11:19 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> Laura Carlson wrote:
>>> Thank you for seeing that all of the comments were restored to the
>>> questionnaire:
>>> http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/wdhdp/results
>>> Much appreciated.
>>>> From those comments it seems evident that the decision was exactly
>>> what the title states, that is: to release the Design Principles  
>>> as a
>>> Working Draft. Consensus of the document's content has not been
>>> reached.
>>> Shawn seemed to have thought that the principles themselves had  
>>> gained
>>> group consensus.
>>> http://twitter.com/soypunk/status/1828939719
>>> The status statement of the principles document also makes it clear
>>> that consensus of the document's content has not been reached.
>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#sotd
>>> Sam and Chris, is there a plan to try to reach consensus of content
>>> for the design principles document?
>> Looking at the vote, it appears that there was a Formal Objection.   
>> As such, a public, substantive response is required.  Perhaps one  
>> of the authors would like to take a stab at this?  Feel free to  
>> point me at it if this was already done, as I wasn't paying as  
>> close attention to this working group in 2007 as I am now.
> Annevk pointed me to the following decision of the working group:
>  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Nov/0216.html
> So, there was a decision to publish without a declaration of  
> consensus.  I'll again note that such could be done simply with a  
> post to public-html which substantively addressed the one  
> objection.  If somebody does so, I'd be willing to declare  
> consensus.  Failing that, I'm OK with leaving the current status as  
> is.

Is the Formal Objection you have in mind the one from Philip Taylor?  
It states:

"No, the Design Principles as currently formulated make reference to  
putative HTML 5 elements about which there is widespread disagreement  
(<i> and (b>, to name but two). "

The only use of <b> and <i> in the Design Principles is as follows:

"Many sites use broken markup, such as badly nested elements  
(<b>a<i>b</b>c</i>), and both authors and users have expectations  
based on the error handling used by legacy user agents. We need to  
define processing requirements that remain compatible with the  
expected handling of such content."

Since this example describes error handling, I do not think it "lends  
support" to <b> or <i> being conforming in HTML5. Therefore, I do not  
think any change is needed to address this part of the objection; the  
document does not carry any assumptions about <b> or <i> being valid.

As for the second part of the objection:

"The Design Principles should be cast in abstract language so as not  
to appear to lend support to any particular putative HTML 5 feature,  
element, attribute, etc."

As far as I can tell, the Design Principles themselves are all cast in  
completely abstract terms. The only use of concrete elements,  
attributes, APIs and features is in the examples. I do not think it is  
possible to cast examples in purely abstract terms, after all, that  
would defeat the purpose of having examples. Thus, I can see the  
following possibilities:

1) Mark the examples more clearly as such, and make clear that the  
individual features captured in the examples are subject to change  
with a disclaimer. (Right now examples are only indicated by a green  
left border, without any explicit label as examples.)

2) Remove all examples.

My preference would be for #1. Would that be a suitable way to address  
the objection? I would rather not remove the examples entirely, and I  
don't think it is possible to have examples without reference to  

Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 00:29:58 UTC

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