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Re: Understanding the "applicable specifications" clause (was: Re: Decentralised extensibility idea (ISSUE-41))

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 12:50:31 +0100
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100120125031144578.7f3e6f83@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Lachlan Hunt, Wed, 20 Jan 2010 11:35:10 +0100:
> Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> Tab Atkins Jr., Sun, 17 Jan 2010 10:25:08 -0800:
>>> The "applicable specification" clause ensures that the extension is
>>> accepted by a large enough group of people to make the validator
>>> authors recognize it, which is a reasonable minimum quality bar.
>> We don't really know how the "applicable spec" mechanism will work. But
>> I don't think we'll simply hand it over to the validator team to tell
>> what it is.
> As far as HTML5 

"the HTML5 spec draft"

> is concerned, a specification is an applicable 
> specification when its requirements are recognised as applicable by 
> the person checking the conformance of a document.

What most people will be interested in is what the W3 Validator 
considers valid. And that is a reason to a) avoid extensions = use 
@profile/@class based extensions instead, b) if you do go for an 
extension, make sure that it can be W3 validated = best thing is to 
submit the spec to the W3.

I don't think you have said anything new in this letter. But thanks 

> Note that it's still possible to use custom schemas to validate your 
> documents if you like.  Validator.nu even provides UI for it [2].  
> But there is no reason for such schemas to be explicitly linked with 
> your document by, e.g. using a custom DOCTYPE or other schema 
> specific syntax.

There is a reason: That you can automatically validate it. Good for 
your customers as well.

> With it now possible to make a conformance claim for a document with 
> regards to any specification, I want to make it clear that I'm not 
> suggesting that authors can get away with pretty much anything just 
> by writing their own spec and claiming it's applicable.  This would 
> completely ignore the goal of interoperability and the benefits of 
> widespread review and support.

Or, may it simply ignores a /tool/ for interoperability.

> Although this model tends to naturally centralise itself, it is 
> effectively a model controlled by the market, as opposed to ivory 
> tower spec writers.  This is a good thing and the result of this is 
> that simply having a spec published by a standards organisation does 
> not inherently mean widespread recognition and support; rather, such 
> support must be built from the bottom up, ideally during the spec's 
> development.
> This is why the ideas about distributed extensibility (ISSUE-41) are 
> bad.  Such extensibility actively encourages extensions without 
> attaining widespread support or interoperability.  The idea of using 
> the profile attribute as a way to declare extensions, and other ideas 
> to provide versioning (ISSUE-4 DOCTYPE versioning), not only fails 
> for this reason, but also miss the point of not allowing documents to 
> make self-conformance claims.  This is why I believe both ISSUE-4 and 
> ISSUE-41 should both be closed with no spec changes.

The above two paragraphs is where we don't share views at all.
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 11:51:06 UTC

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