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 11:25:07 -0700
Message-ID: <dd0fbad1003271125x575cd241pdf171be9901c8ec2@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
>>> What new mime type do you propose for this?
>
> I note that this question was not answered.

I thought it subsumed under my following answer; I don't believe there
is any need to mint a new mime type.  That would be explicitly
versioning the web, which I don't think is necessary at this time.

>> 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'.

I'm not sure what you are trying to imply here.  Could you try to
state your points less cryptically?

>> Doing anything else is abdication of our duty to move the web forward.
>
> A wee bit of hyperbole.

I don't think so.  We have the duty to move the web forward.  Saying
that everything that has ever been done in the past is valid is
abdication of that duty.  I mean that very literally.  Part of moving
the web forward is solving new problems.  Another part is identifying
failed solutions and discouraging their use.

>>  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].

So you think that we can help authors more by explicitly making lots
of things valid, and then producing a separate document that says not
to use some of them?  (Not rhetorical - this just seems to be what
you're saying and I want to make sure.)

> 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.

Sure, most documents are nonconforming.  Most documents aren't
authored according to what we currently call "best practice".  I'm not
sure what the problem with this is.  Can you elaborate on what you
believe the problem is with calling these documents nonconforming?

On a slightly different tack, if we go your suggested route of making
all of these valid in HTML5 and then producing a separate Best
Practices document, the documents that HTML5 currently calls
nonconforming will instead be conforming HTML5 but nonconforming to
Best Practices.  Do you believe that this produces a superior state of
affairs?  If so, why do you think it is okay to say something doesn't
conform to a Best Practices document, but not okay to say something
doesn't conform to HTML5 for the same reasons?

~TJ
Received on Saturday, 27 March 2010 18:25:59 UTC

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