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Re: HTML interpreter vs. HTML user agent

From: Rob Sayre <rsayre@mozilla.com>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 12:06:41 -0400
Message-ID: <4A1D6511.8010709@mozilla.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
CC: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 5/27/09 11:49 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:
> However, there has been strong push back that the
> specification being reviewed should be applicable
> to all kinds of HTML interpreters, and not just
> HTML User Agents.

Are you claiming that push back is accurate? The document is relevant to 
all HTML clients.

> There are likely important distinctions between the
> operational requirements of HTML interpreting agents
> being run by a user in order to access the information
> in the HTML page (and thus a HTML User Agent) vs.
> those being run as a service or for some other
> purpose (e.g., search engine spiders, for example).

The term user agent has evolved to include all clients, since most of 
them send User-Agent headers. Even W3C documents use the term this way. 
See <http://www.w3.org/TR/cuap>, for example.

Furthermore, I don't think the technical distinction you're drawing here 
is particularly useful. Non-browser clients still need to follow the 
HTML5 document to interpret HTML, otherwise they more like toys that 
can't handle the Web. The only remotely capable html parsing library I 
have ever used as a programming language package is html5lib. Also, when 
sites need to do accurate HTML parsing on the server, they end up 
pulling in Mozilla or WebKit components.

- Rob
Received on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 16:07:20 UTC

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