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

Re: AuthConfReq: Presentational Markup

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 10:40:20 -0700
Message-ID: <dd0fbad1003271040p4a932418vc42cc7e4b10c3c57@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
> On 03/27/2010 11:51 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> We specify how to handle it in legacy documents, but don't
>> allow its use in new ones.
>
> Or, what, I shall taunt you a second time?

No, simply what I said.  We don't allow it.  We can't stop anyone from
doing it, but we can suggest in the official standard that doing so is
a bad thing that you should avoid.

> What new mime type do you propose for this?
>
> While it is a controversial premise, I agree with the notion that a number
> of people in this working group share, namely that the web is essentially
> unversioned.  Once something is permitted, it can't lightly be taken away.
>
> The text/html MIME type has a specific meaning.  There have been tens of
> billions of documents authored that conform to that mime type.
>
> Net: the goal to reduce presentational markup is a noble one that I
> enthusiastically support.  The means selected, namely mandatory author
> conformance criteria for the MIME type of text/html, is not something I can
> support.

So we both agree that the web is unversioned.  We just, apparently,
disagree on quite what that means.  To me, that means that we are
required to support old 'versions' by ensuring that they act/look the
way they were intended, as much as is possible/practical.  It does not
mean (to me) that we have to continue to bless every aspect of every
old 'version' as being equally valid and correct.  Some things were
simply mistakes.  Widely-used mistakes still have to be supported, but
we can still say "Hey, this was a mistake.  Don't use it anymore.".

Doing anything else is abdication of our duty to move the web forward.
 We should help authors, for precisely the reasons listed in the
author conformance requirements, and that means forbidding some
constructs while still specifying how they should be interpreted when
they are encountered.  That does mean that some documents which were
previously conforming aren't anymore.  And?  The page still works.
It's just not authored according to current best practices, /which is
precisely the point/.  Conformance reflects reality.

~TJ
Received on Saturday, 27 March 2010 17:41:08 UTC

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