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Re: ISSUE-89 idioms - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 11:58:10 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTil8O9ehk-mLd4sF6O-jleQtpKnfImfKhvIseTg9@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Issue 89 Counter Proposal

There is no problem, and no change should be made.

Some types of content are common enough on the web to be significant,
and complex enough to not have a simple, obvious way to mark them up,
but do not offer enough benefit to directly address their use-cases by
adding to HTML.  We can offer useful advice to authors in the HTML
spec, promoting particular patterns for these types of content that
are at least good enough.  This has the potential to reduce author
confusion for very little cost, and helps to ensure that complex
content is marked up in a way that is widely usable, such as for
accessibility purposes.

No change.

Positive Effects
Authors receive good advice on how to mark up certain relatively
complex types of content, thus increasing the chance that said markup
is well-designed and as widely accessible as possible.  By spreading
this advice in a relatively official document such as the html spec,
we increase its chance of being picked up by other tutorial and
teaching sites, rather than those sites coming up with their own
potentially inferior and conflicting advice.

Negative Effects
By including such authoring advice in the html specification, we open
ourselves to the possibility of "baking in" advice that may be later
superseded by new best practices.  However, the impact of this is
relatively small.  The advice given in the html spec is at least "good
enough"; if better advice comes along in the future, the degree to
which it is better is likely to be fairly small.

Additionally, this section is guidance, not normative requirements for
authors.  If specific guidelines, perhaps mandated by law in
particular contexts, contradict the advice given here, the author may
follow those guidelines without fear of making their markup invalid.

Finally, the advice given by this section can always be superseded,
either informally by new best-practices that become commonly accepted,
or more formally via the "Applicable Specifications" clause.  The w3c
may, for example, publish at some later date a more comprehensive
markup-best-practices document that covers the limited cases given in
the spec and further cases as well, without any significant conflict.

Received on Thursday, 20 May 2010 18:59:05 UTC

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