W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2012

Re: Note in HTML4 spec about html5?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:03:02 +0100
To: "Jace Voracek" <jacevoracek@me.com>, "David Carlisle" <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.wa2hnccxwxe0ny@widsith-3.local>
On Mon, 12 Mar 2012 17:06:51 +0100, David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>  
> On 12/03/2012 15:54, Jace Voracek wrote:
>  > I understand, as you
>> mentioned, how that can be confusing for one searching for the latest
>> HTML recommendation. Forwarding http://www.w3.org/TR/html to
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/html5 would make the original XHTML 1.0
>> specification unaccessible,
> No it would still be available at the rather more natural
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/
> which is the one listed at in the front matter of the document.

The question is a bit double-headed. On the one hand, what do I find at  
the end of http://www.w3.org/TR/html or .../html5 or .../html4 or /xhtml  

On the other hand, if I want to use HTML, how do I find out what people  
are using today?

Note that each draft of the specification has a specific ID like  
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-HTML-401-19991224 (for editor's drafts cvs the  
URL looks a lot messier, but it can still be used to point to a specific  
stable reference).

If people are looking for HTML, they might want to know that the world  
really *uses* HTML5, by and large. While they might want to know that,  
they might also want to find the actually completed and stable reference  
for XHTML1.1 since significant bits of the world happen to use that. They  
might want the editor's draft - which is relatively prone to including  
unstable ideas that Ian picked, such as removing <time>, because it also  
contains the latest fixes to various problems that are unresolved, or they  
might want a "published snapshot" like the heartbeat drafts, so they can  
spend a few weeks learning what is in it and doing a thorough review, or  
they might want a document that has reached recommendation so they know  
what is covered by the W3C patent license, or ...

>> but perhaps providing a URL to the XHTML namespace would suffice. The
>> namespace points to the major specifications relevant to HTML
>> including the HTML5 working draft, so a browser would be able to find
>> the latest version of HTML from there.
> Given that namespaces are an xml feature, I don't think anyone should be  
> expected to look at a namespace url to find out anything about html  
> which is not, for the most part, an xml language.


I think the "latest version" should point to a document which explains the  
family of HTML specifications W3C makes available, and points to the  
different ones with useful identifiers. And that the stable, historical,  
and for many purposes out-of-date versions should be republished with a  
clear pointer to such a page, which needs some maintenance from time to  

(BTW this also applies to things like CSS, and SVG, that have gone through  
multiple versions and have parts in active development along with parts  
that are generally believed to be completely stable...)



Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan litt norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Monday, 12 March 2012 17:03:47 UTC

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