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Re: Design Principles

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 26 May 2009 13:18:24 +0200
To: "Leif Halvard Silli" <lhs@malform.no>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.uuja0yj264w2qv@annevk-t60>
On Tue, 26 May 2009 03:49:31 +0200, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no> wrote:
> Anne van Kesteren On 09-05-25 19.59:
>> On Mon, 25 May 2009 19:48:05 +0200, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>  
>> wrote:
>>> Because, as I said, it is isn't useful to convince me about anything  
>>> that you tell me that you have looked at it from scratch. The "from  
>>> scratch" principle would in itself need to be defined, btw.
>> I don't really see how it's a principle and I'm not sure why you need  
>> to be convinced about it.
> I thought that you used it because you thought it was a convincing  
> argument to use.

It's not really an argument. It's just a fact.

> It has certainly happened many times that the "from  
> scratch" argument has been used as a justification.

Maybe in the context of that each feature had to justify itself. But as argument on its own it seems like a fallacy. Something not being in HTML5 is not a reason to not include it by itself.

> That to me makes it  
> a de-facto design principle (for some) that fails to be in the Design  
> Principles. Although some may feel that it is included in "Don't break  
> the Web", which some perhaps think is a principle - although it isn't in  
> the Principles.

"Don't break the Web" is "Support Existing Content" I think.

> Here is a look at @profile vis-a-vis the principles:
>     * 2. Compatibility
> 2.1. Support Existing Content      = support @profile

To truly state that the questions pertaining to the principle would have to be answered.

> [...]
> 2.3. Do not Reinvent the Wheel
>      = support and extend the profile concept (+ RDFa) instead of  
> inventing new "microdata"

Is profile really widely used and deployed? (Not sure what RDFa has to do with this as I believe it does not use the profile attribute.)

> 2.4. Pave the Cowpaths
>      = this to me also supports building on existing profile related  
> authoring practises such as microformats. Or is it only those  
> microformatters that do /not/ use @profile that represent a cowpath?

While microformats claim to need a profile attribute in practice they do not use it I believe for consuming etc.

> [...]

Similar arguments and questions can be raised for the remaining principles.

>> xmlns is not an HTML4 feature.
> Of course. For a moment I had the XHTML 1.0 roots in mind as well. Sorry.

In XHTML5 xmlns is supported perfectly fine. (Just like in any language expressed in XML for that matter.)

>> The goal was mostly to explain the design rationale to date. They're  
>> certainly not meant as rigid rules.
> But they should be of help.  There must be some rigour about what they  
> mean. Or else it simply become feelings.  E.g.  you said that you did  
> not see that Principles had been broken. But I really wonder how one can  
> say anything like that about the "Pave the Cowpaths" principle. Do we  
> keep a list of the cowpaths? Have we dealt with them all now? How many  
> are left?

I'm not really sure quantitative questions about cowpaths make sense. I think authoring practice needs to be monitored on a continuous basis as it will change when new technology becomes available. (E.g. <br/> was not really around in text/html content before XHTML.)

> I am sorry, but I am only a HTML 4 kind of man who can never reach the  
> HTML 5 level of precision in my speak. But I can try again: It is pretty  
> strange to be very "law abiding" on the principle of having Design  
> Principles but just overlook other normal W3 expectations and principles  
> about how an editor should work.

I'm not really sure the editor role within the W3C is as clearcut as you make it out to be. The editor is certainly obliged to implement decisions from the WG, but other then that there's not really any established practice that I know of.

> I would, in fact, loved to have good design principle that was useful  
> and mostly agreed upon. But then there is a need of "meeting of minds"  
> as Laura said. And I think it is hard to find meeting of minds when we  
> cannot even agree on what the word "removed" refers to.

I agree with Jonas that this is mostly a non-issue.

> [...]

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 11:19:10 UTC

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