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TAG Decision on Rescinding the request to the HTML WG to develop a polyglot guide

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 01:13:47 +0000
Message-ID: <50CA7D1E.5030905@arcanedomain.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>

The TAG has discussed your request [1] that the TAG rescind its request to 
the HTML WG to "create a document in TR space that specifies how one can 
create a set of bits which can be served EITHER as text/html OR as 
application/xhtml+xml, which will work identically in a browser in both cases".

The TAG has decided not to rescind the request, but we do observe that both 
Working Group Notes and W3C Recommendations appear in TR space, and 
therefore the HTML WG could satisfy our request by publishing the Polyglot 
draft [2][3] either as a Note or a Recommendation.

We understand that the HTML WG is currently debating whether to publish the 
Polyglot draft as a Recommendation or a Note. We support the publication of 
the Polyglot draft as a Recommendation, with the addition of a Scope 
section that makes the intended uses of polyglot clear. The scope should 
indicate that

  * the use of polyglot is suitable as an
    option for tool chains that operate in
    controlled environments and for authoring

  * XML-based HTML tools or systems intended
    for the most general contexts of use cannot
    depend on polyglot input: for maximum flexibility,
    such tools should use the technique of using an
    HTML parser that produces an XML-compatible DOM or
    event stream

Making these points would make it clearer what polyglot is being 
recommended for, and what it is not being recommended for.

We further encourage the HTML WG to take the Polyglot draft through a Call 
for Implementations prior to publication as Recommendation, to ensure:

   * that it is possible to generate documents that
     adhere to the polyglot specification

   * that the DOMs produced by such documents are
     identical except for the cases noted in the spec

   * that there are implementations that support
     generating polyglot documents

We support the publication of the Polyglot draft as a Recommendation 
because publication as a Recommendation will enable the specification to be 
referenced by other specifications and contracts in a way that publication 
as a Note would not. The definition of the term 'polyglot markup' is 
normative, even if the details of the implications (as in what markup is 
permitted within polyglot documents) is dependent on the content of other 

Noah Mendelsohn
For the: W3C Technical Architecture Group

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2012Nov/0047.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-polyglot/
[3] http://dev.w3.org/html5/html-xhtml-author-guide/
Received on Friday, 14 December 2012 11:08:54 UTC

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