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Re: Design Principles

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 15:56:48 +0200
Message-ID: <4A1FE9A0.3020102@lachy.id.au>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> ... "Pave the Cowpaths" principle? The text says: "When a 
> practice is already widespread among authors, consider adopting it 
> rather than forbidding it or inventing something new." I can't see how 
> it would ever justify *not* supporting something...

The major problem with the Pave the Cowpaths principle is that it is so 
widely misinterpreted and wrongly applied, that its usefulness is, 
unfortunately, greatly outweighed by its misuse and abuse.  The most 
common misinterpretation, which has lead to many objections, seems to be 
that it supports codifying bad practices - something it most certainly 
isn't intended to mean.  Resolving this confusion, and removing those 
baseless objections would go along way to resolving the issues with it. 
  It's also not helped by the fact that the way the principle is 
described in the document doesn't clearly and accurately convey its 
intended meaning.

I have previously suggested renaming the principle to Consider Use Cases 
and moving it from the Compatibility to the Utility category, and 
similarly clarifying its description and associated examples.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
Received on Friday, 29 May 2009 13:57:33 UTC

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