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Re: HTML5 Authoring Conformance Study

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 18:15:09 +0100
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, HTMLwg WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100321181509642358.3c3502bd@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Maciej Stachowiak, Sun, 21 Mar 2010 08:21:35 -0700:
> On Mar 21, 2010, at 7:38 AM, Shelley Powers wrote:

> 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".

But if Google find reason to use HTML attributes instead, then so could 
I. The purpose of using CSS is so that one can be more "semantic". It 
increases "the semantics" by removing attributes that are only 
presentational. However, CSS has more to do with what authors find 
semantic, than it has to do with what users of user agents find 
semantic. Because, the presentational attributes and/or elements don't 
affect the semantics of the elements they are used on/inside/around. 
(The Exceptional Performance group within Yahoo has said that for front 
pages, then it is better to use in-page styles rather than linked 
styles - for instance.)

When it comes to the rationale of HTML401, then - to me - that 
rationale is found, to a large degree, in SGML. For XHTML1, the 
rationale is found in XML - and (!) in HTML4. 

HTML4 in reality seeks to define a polyglot document that is possible 
to consume both as "web page" and as SGML document. XHTML tries to 
define something that can be consumed both as SGML, as "Web page" and 
as XML. I agree with Sam that it seems strange to hear that some errors 
are not accepted as HTML5 because it can't be converted to XML. 
(Although, for myself, I had found a deeper meaning in this.) ;-)

HTML5 - advocates and editors - have used words about HTML4 that are 
quite synonymous with "pedantic idiots".
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 21 March 2010 17:15:42 UTC

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