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Re: Implied Context Parsing (DocumentFragment.innerHTML, or similar) proposal details to be sorted out

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 12:38:15 +0300
Message-ID: <CAJQvAueUJT1wE5ZWnvVrA6xPR=H-FMtg=z5wTsz_pQsY+mbPMg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Rafael Weinstein <rafaelw@google.com>, Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com>, Webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, Scott González <scott.gonzalez@gmail.com>
On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 6:49 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Flip-flopping" is irrelevant.

It's irrelevant in the sense of flip-flopping being bad in and of
itself. Changing one's mind is okay and it's good to acknowledge past
mistakes. However, in many cases if one's mind is changed after
interoperable implementations have been made available to Web authors,
it may be worse to try to fix past mistakes instead of just
acknowledging them as mistakes and trying to not make more mistakes
like that in the future.

> Only what is good for authors is.

I believe in this case not changing the way SVG script content
tokenizes would be best for authors.

> If
> deployed content would break as a result of a change, we either find a
> new way to accommodate the desired change, or drop it.  But we need
> the compat data about that breakage before we can claim that it will
> occur.

Support Existing Content is not the only relevant Design Principle
here. Degrade Gracefully is also relevant. I believe it would be bad
for authors if SVG-in-HTML content tokenized subtly differently in the
long tail of old (old when viewed from the future) browsers which is
likely to include IE9 and, at this rate, IE10 and also a mix of
versions of the Android stock browser for a long time. (Also possibly
various left-over versions of Firefox, Safari and Opera.)

Past data suggests that IE is updated slowly and that the Android
stock browser typically doesn't get updated at all (until it is
abandoned by switching to another browser or by switching to another

Arguments about it being okay to violate the Degrade Gracefully
principle because the future is longer than the past (so it's always
worthwhile to make things "better" for the future) would apply to
pretty much all breaking changes to the Web platform and have the same
problems this time as when the argument is applied to other breaking
changes to the Web platform.

> The SVGWG would like to make things as good for authors as possible.
> Past positions don't matter, except insofar as the history of their
> effects on the specs persists.

The reason why I care about correcting recounts of past SVG working
group opinion on this topic is that I think it's better for learning
from mistakes if the learning is based on the truth of what happened.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Thursday, 7 June 2012 09:38:54 UTC

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