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Re: Design Principles, Section 1.6.1 relationship to HTML 4.01

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 20:06:43 -0700
Cc: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <B012FBDB-2E13-4DF1-90FF-F5D4934D1860@apple.com>
To: "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>

On May 30, 2009, at 7:09 PM, Dailey, David P. wrote:

> Maciej asks of Larry:
>> Can you be specific about which statements you believe are untrue?
>> Just a succinct list of specific untrue statements with an  
>> explanation
>> of why you think they are untrue. I'd want to fix anything that is
>> factually inaccurate. Note that publication as a Note is not  
>> imminent;
>> at least one more Working Draft is planned.
> I would submit that the claim that "don't reinvent the wheel" is a  
> good design principle is factually inaccurate.
> Our WG's mail archives reveal numerous examples of historic  
> instances where reinventing the wheel proved to be good technology  
> policy ([1], as a cursory example with some pointers to others). Non- 
> euclidean geometry comes to mind right now.

Since this principle states a design preference, and not a fact about  
the world, I don't see how it can be factually inaccurate. That's like  
saying "Stop smoking" is false because some people still smoke.

The full text of the principle also clarifies that sometimes "new use  
cases may call for a new approach instead of more extensions on an old  
approach". So I don't think it even disagrees with your position.

> I have yet to see materialize the claimed benefits that these design  
> principles bring to our discussion. I have, on the other hand,  seen  
> clear evidence of what I see, as their misuse. It is that misuse for  
> which I asked for consideraby stronger disclaimers on several  
> occasions. Remember the mad ant [2]!

I tried to avoid using absolutes in the wording of any of the  
principles. In some cases this causes objections in itself, for  
example the accessibility principle used to say "when possible", which  
drew some strong objections.  There is also the risk of turning the  
document into unreadable legalese. So I'm inclined to limit the amount  
of extra disclaimers.

Received on Sunday, 31 May 2009 03:07:22 UTC

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