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Re: ISSUE-89 idioms - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 11:53:10 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTikH95BXOdJprach1FnPuUseZ18ZXULZJzcPkQKM@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Issue 89 Counter Proposal
=========================

Summary
-------
There is no problem, and no change should be made.


Rationale
---------
The HTML language should cater for all types of content that are
common enough on the web to be significant, otherwise it is doing a
disservice to producers of any types which it omits.

In creating the HTML5 spec we considered all of these types, and
ensured the language caters for them. Some types of content have
specific elements; others share elements. In all cases we should state
how to mark up these significant types of content, for the benefit of
authors who wish to publish such types.

(Whether such descriptions are with the definitions of particular
elements or in a separate section of idioms -- or a mixture of the two
-- is a purely editorial matter that doesn't effect the total
information conveyed to authors.)


Details
-------
No change.


Positive Effects
----------------
Authors receive good advice on how to mark up certain relatively
complex types of content, thus increasing the chance that said markup
is well-designed and as widely accessible as possible.  By spreading
this advice in a relatively official document such as the html spec,
we increase its chance of being picked up by other tutorial and
teaching sites, rather than those sites coming up with their own
potentially inferior and conflicting advice.


Negative Effects
----------------
By including such authoring advice in the html specification, we open
ourselves to the possibility of "baking in" advice that may be later
superseded by new best practices.  However, the impact of this is
relatively small.  The advice given in the html spec is at least "good
enough"; if better advice comes along in the future, the degree to
which it is better is likely to be fairly small.

Additionally, this section is guidance, not normative requirements for
authors.  If specific guidelines, perhaps mandated by law in
particular contexts, contradict the advice given here, the author may
follow those guidelines without fear of making their markup invalid.

Finally, the advice given by this section can always be superseded,
either informally by new best-practices that become commonly accepted,
or more formally via the "Applicable Specifications" clause.  The w3c
may, for example, publish at some later date a more comprehensive
markup-best-practices document that covers the limited cases given in
the spec and further cases as well, without any significant conflict.
As well, the HTML5 spec itself implicitly allows for its own text to
change, such as if a dedicated element is added to handle a type of
content that is currently handled as a particular idiom.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:54:03 GMT

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