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Re: Design Principles, Section 1.6.1 relationship to HTML 4.01

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 01:45:32 +0200
Message-ID: <4A23169C.5040109@malform.no>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Ian Hickson On 09-05-30 21.17:
> On Sat, 30 May 2009, Larry Masinter wrote:

>> Yes, the charter says the goal was to "evolve" the document from HTML4. 
>> I think it is the obligation of the working group, in the documents it 
>> publishes, to say that (and why) this path wasn't actually followed, and 
>> give at least some summary of the reasons and the actual path taken.
> HTML5 is indeed an evolution of HTML4. An evolution of a language doesn't 
> have to involve using text verbatim from the previous specification.

When it suits the hegemony[1], it may use "HTML 4" in the sense 
"deployed HTML 4". Thus the hegemony insists that HTML 5 is an 
evolution of HTML 4, but rejects argument based on "HTML 4" 
whenever it is possible to link - or nail - those arguments to 
"HTML 4 the spec".

The hegemony loves to make "haiku" style statements that leave the 
impression that the definition power of _anything_  - from what 
"HTML 4" means to how to interpret "the design principles" -  is 
in the hands of a closed circle. Whatever one brings in, the 
hegemony has a gotcha[2].

But both the nailing of arguments that points to HTML 4 the spec, 
as well as the very claim that HTML 5 builds on "HTML 4 deployed", 
are based on a clarity that is impossible to have:

* Just because someone points to HTML 4 the spec, doesn't mean 
that it is fair to assume that one _only_ had the spec in mind.

Some things that underlines that a clear separation of 
"deployment" and "spec" is impossible:

* Ian supports strongly the separation of structure and styling. 
Media independence. We cannot base such a principle on "HTML 4 as 
deployed" - it comes from HTML 4 the spec.

*  Simon has several times come with arguments that are based 
directly on the HTML 4 spec - for example regarding "phrase" and 
"flow" content [3].

* IIRC, the dt element was changed to "phrasing content", with the 
argument that it was probably only due to limitations in the DTD 
that 'dt' and 'th' hadn't been aligned already in HTML 4. There 
were no protest to this line of arguing, and Ian adopted it. 
(Sorry, could not find the link for this - may be it happened in 
the WHATwg list ...)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotcha_(programming)
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Feb/0377.html
leif halvard
Received on Sunday, 31 May 2009 23:46:13 UTC

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