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

Re: Bug 7034

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 11:43:07 +0200
Cc: HTMLwg WG <public-html@w3.org>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Message-Id: <12107F41-7509-46E1-ABC8-208F95A3C129@iki.fi>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
On Mar 23, 2010, at 16:36, Sam Ruby wrote:

>> I do believe that the political buy-in of "standardistas" is part of
>> the rationale for making some presentational markup non-conforming. I
>> also believe that another part of the rationale is a belief that the
>> Web gets better if people use presentational markup less and that the
>> authoring conformance requirements affect the usage.
> Do we have the buy in of those "standaristas"?

I don't know what standardistas advocate these days at conferences, so I don't know what level of buy-in there is.

There is one clear data point, though: The standardistas who call themselves the Super Friends have explicitly declared their "support for the direction in which the HTML5 specification is heading". (http://www.zeldman.com/superfriends/) 

> My understanding is that they tend to recommend such things as explicitly closing all open tags and quoting all attributes.

In my opinion, upholding the XML fiction is damaging to the mental model authors have of how HTML works. I think that saying that a given feature works but must no longer be used because of righteous reason X isn't damaging to the mental model of how things work (though it might be damaging to people's critical thinking around X). I think it is, therefore, more worthwhile to risk political buy-in on the XML fiction point than on the presentational markup point. This is my opinion and not necessarily a rationale applied to spec writing.

Personally, I'd be more inclined to allow more interoperably-implemented presentational pre-existing markup features as valid to allow authors to use an HTML5 validator as a development aid when adding HTML5 features to pre-existing content that has interoperably supported legacy cruft in it. I do agree with the notion that markup becomes more maintainable (and potentially more compact) if it doesn't use features like <h1 align=right>, though. But then, markup also becomes more maintainable if it doesn't use style="...". I think it would be useful for validators to offer a mode for flagging <h1 align='right'>, style='...' and other cruft like xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml", language=JavaScript and type=text/css, but doing it all by default makes validators unusable for those migrating existing content.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Friday, 26 March 2010 09:43:44 UTC

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