Re: [webcomponents] HTML Parsing and the <template> element

On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 11:25 PM, Henri Sivonen <> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM, Dimitri Glazkov <> wrote:
>> == IDEA 1: Keep template contents parsing in the tokenizer ==
> Not this!
> Here's why:
> Making something look like markup but then not tokenizing it as markup
> is confusing. The confusion leads to authors not having a clear mental
> model of what's going on and where stuff ends. Trying to make things
> just work for authors leads to even more confusing "here be dragons"
> solutions. Check out
> Making something that looks like markup but isn't tokenized as markup
> also makes the delta between HTML and XHTML greater. Some people may
> be ready to throw XHTML under the bus completely at this point, but
> this also goes back to the confusion point. Apart from namespaces, the
> mental model you can teach for XML is remarkably sane. Whenever HTML
> deviates from it, it's a complication in the understandability of
> Also, multi-level parsing is in principle bad for perf. (How bad
> really? Dunno.) I *really* don't want to end up writing a single-pass
> parser that has to be black-box indishtinguishable from something
> that's defined as a multi-pass parser.
> (There might be a longer essay about how this sucks in the public-html
> archives, since the SVG WG proposed something like this at one point,
> too.)

This makes sense. As an aside, this is also why implementing templates
as a script tag is a bad idea.

>> == IDEA 2: Just tweak insertion modes ==
> I think a DWIM insertion mode that switches to another mode and
> reprocesses the token upon the first start tag token *without* trying
> to return to the DWIM insertion mode when the matching end tag is seen
> for the start tag that switched away from the DWIM mode is something
> that might be worth pursuing. If we do it, I think we should make it
> work for a fragment parsing API that doesn't require context beyound
> assuming HTML, too. (I think we shouldn't try to take the DWIM so far
> that a contextless API would try to guess HTML vs. SVG vs. MathML.)

Sounds like a good direction to explore. I'll play with this.

> The violation of the Degrade Gracefully principle and tearing the
> parser spec open right when everybody converged on the spec worry me,
> though. I'm still hoping for a design that doesn't require parser
> changes at all and that doesn't blow up in legacy browsers (even
> better if the results in legacy browsers were sane enough to serve as
> input for a polyfill).

Yeah, Adam expressed a similar concern. I must admit, before digging
into the HTML parsing, I was a bit more bullish about making this
"just work". Turns out, there's this delicate balance between the
reality and the proper solution.

I am still optimistic we can find something that both doesn't look
like a gross hack and degrades well in most cases.


> --
> Henri Sivonen

Received on Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:35:42 UTC