W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2010

Re: HTML5 Authoring Conformance Study

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 08:21:35 -0700
Cc: HTMLwg WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <C591A179-BEC8-4016-98C6-5B5B4764952A@apple.com>
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>

On Mar 21, 2010, at 7:38 AM, Shelley Powers wrote:

> I may be wrong, and it's up to Sam to correct, but I didn't get the  
> impression that Sam's acceptable solution is to remove all authoring  
> conformance requirements. I thought, and Sam correct me if I'm  
> wrong, that he was asking for the rationale behind the authoring  
> conformance requirements. If there is no rationale for some, or  
> many, then the authoring conformance requirement is based on one  
> person's opinion.

I think Sam has been very clear that removing all author conformance  
requirements would be one solution that is acceptable to him, though  
not necessarily the only solution.

[...snip...]

> Seems to me that when most of the web doesn't validate, and most  
> pages generate hundreds of errors, we had better have a good  
> explanation for why we're unleashing this _abundance of helpful  
> information_ on the world, or risk losing credibility.
>
> If we don't understand why these items are errors, we're going to  
> look like pedantic idiots. No offense to anyone intended, that's  
> just how it's going to be.

What I've found is that very few of the most popular pages validate as  
their declared doctype. Out of the Alexa top 100 sites, only 8 have  
main pages that validate. So this problem is not new with HTML5,  
though it's true that we have the opportunity to improve matters. In  
the course of the study so far, a lot of documents seem to produce  
fewer errors as HTML5 than as their declared doctype.

To the best of knowledge, the rationale for most HTML4 author  
conformance requirements is not publicly documented. But I think it  
would be uncharitable to call the authors of HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0  
"pedantic idiots". The rationale for excluding presentational elements  
and attributes from the Strict DTD is somewhat documented, but seems  
approximately equivalent to "Use CSS instead".

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Sunday, 21 March 2010 15:22:08 UTC

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