W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > November 2008

[whatwg] Absent rev?

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:55:11 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0811191845420.25579@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Wed, 19 Nov 2008, Martin McEvoy wrote:
> 
> It basically says that the whole premise that HTML5 should drop *rev* 
> (a) because authors use it wrong, (b)  Many authors use rev-stylesheet 
> wrong, is a MYTH and an inaccurate assessment of the *rev* attribute

As others have noted, the data does in fact show that rev="" is rarely 
used for anything other than rev=made, and is, with the exception of 
rev=made, usually used incorrectly when used at all.

The idea of removing it is to make validators more able to report these 
mistakes, thus helping authors write better HTML.

Despite your claims to the contrary, given the way that the "rel" 
attribute and the related keywords are defined, rel=author does in fact 
convey the semantics that rev=made did.

Removing "rev" doesn't affect previous pages, as they continue to be valid 
HTML4 if they were valid HTML4 before, and UAs can continue to support 
those semantics for as long as they want to support those pages.

Furthermore, since the definition of "rel" in HTML5 allows relationships 
in either direction to be defined, there is no need anymore for a separate 
rev="" attribute.


On Wed, 19 Nov 2008, Martin McEvoy wrote:
> 
> There are 1517 instances of @rev
> 
> of those:
> 
> "made" occurs 83% of the time (1259 instances)
> "stylesheet" occurs 8.2% of the time (124 instances)
> The rest occur 8.9% of the time (135 instances)

These numbers support removing rev="" based on the design principles we 
are using for HTML5.


> the misuse of "stylesheet" is trivial and only a matter of informing 
> authors of their error

Well, who's going to be doing the informing? Nobody did it in the past ten 
years, why would they do it now?


> the fact that a high amount of authors are using rev-made is Inspiring 
> to say the least, because every made link type is a claim of ownership, 
> not authorship two totally different semantics.

I believe it is unrealistic to expect authors to split semantics that 
finely. Authors who today use rev="made" could equally well use 
rel="author" without loss of generality IMHO.


> I will study the results of @rel soon but from first glance It seems 
> there is (statistically) more abuse and misunderstanding about @rel than 
> there will ever be than @rev

That's possible, but we can remove rev="" without reducing the semantics 
that can be expressed; we can't remove both without losing a feature.


On Wed, 19 Nov 2008, Julian Reschke wrote:
> 
> As far as I recall, a percentage of 0.2 usually is considered a big 
> number, considering the total amount of pages.

Most of hte 0.2% is rev="made", which is redundant with rel="author".


> Or are we going to remove *every* feature that's used in less than 0.2% 
> of the pages?

If there are redundant features that are only used 0.2% of the time, we 
should probably remove them, yes. Are there any?


On Wed, 19 Nov 2008, Martin McEvoy wrote:
>
> That does not solve the "problem" of rev="made" because its not the same 
> as rel="author"
>
> "author" can relate to multiple instances on a page saying "WE made 
> this", an Author may have no control over who claims authorship of a 
> page.
> 
> "made" is usually a single point perspective, Its a way of authors 
> claiming their own links in a statement saying "I made This".

I don't understand your distinction. rev=made and rel=author are 
interchangeable, they would both appear on the same page (the page that 
was written), pointing to the page of the author.


> rev="made" is subtle but ever so important link relationship for an 
> author, HTML5 really shouldn't abandon rev because of it.

While I appreciate your feedback, I'm afraid that in this instance the 
weight of the argument is more strongly in favour of dropping the 
attribute, thus it has been dropped.

If you still disagree, please provide new information explaining why, for 
example explaining the use case for rev="" that rel="" doesn't address.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 10:55:11 UTC

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