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Re: AuthConfReq: Presentational Markup

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 13:58:15 -0400
Message-ID: <4BAE4737.1000406@intertwingly.net>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 03/27/2010 01:40 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> 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?

I note that this question was not answered.

>> 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.".

I note in passing the use of the word 'bless'.

> Doing anything else is abdication of our duty to move the web forward.

A wee bit of hyperbole.

>   We should help authors, for precisely the reasons listed in the
> author conformance requirements,

Agreed.

> and that means forbidding some constructs

Disagreed.

> 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.

I would have no problem with a Best Current Practices document, such as 
the IETF often produce[1].

I also don't believe that your notion of conformance reflects reality. 
The reality I see is that the overwhelming majority of pages violate 
conformance.  I furthermore don't believe that you can segregate pages 
into "legacy" and "new".  I believe that there are a lot of not-new but 
actively maintained and living documents out there.  Many of which 
willfully violate these conformance requirements.

> ~TJ

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://www.apps.ietf.org/rfc/bcplist.html
Received on Saturday, 27 March 2010 17:58:42 UTC

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