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Re: [whatwg] HTML differences from HTML4 document updated

From: Gordon P. Hemsley <gphemsley@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 10:37:21 -0400
Message-ID: <CAH4e3M7uj4sJmOCHjnLje219pEfmqA8RBBQiUGJQJ3R=oAgDwg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
Cc: whatwg <whatwg@lists.whatwg.org>
Simon,

I think it would be good to consider the target audiences, of which
there are probably many:

You have the audience who is worried that HTML5 is some grand
departure from the HTML 4.01 they (think they) know and love. For
them, you'll want to describe what exactly has been removed and why,
instilling the idea of a separation between semantic and
presentational markup.

Then you have the audience that is excited to see what they can do now
with HTML5 that they couldn't do with HTML 4.01. For them, you'd list
the new elements and attributes and such.

Then you probably have some other incidentals such as things that were
removed or changed just because they were never implemented or people
never used them. These probably don't fall into either of the two
categories above.

But you also have another issue to consider: For this document, the
difference between the W3C's concept of specification snapshots and
WHATWG's concept of a living standard is not trivial. For the former,
you can have snapshot documents detailing the differences between each
snapshot specification; for the latter, you need a living document
that is anchored by a fixed point at one end (HTML 4.01).

This raises the question of the purpose of this document: Is it to
simplify the transition from HTML 4.01 to HTML5+? Or is it to act as
an HTML changelog from here on out? Because I think attempting to do
both within a single document will become unwieldy as time goes on.

Regards,
Gordon


On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 5:00 AM, Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 06 May 2013 16:50:03 +0200, Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
> wrote:
>
>>> I don't think this is of particular importance.
>>
>>
>> If it isn't, why not use the correct spelling?
>
>
> Mostly to be consistent with "HTML5".
>
>
>> When referring to specifications, it is usually a good idea to use their
>> own spelling, even when it is odd and confusing.
>>
>>> HTML 4.01 is intended. The differences between revisions of HTML4 is out
>>> of scope.
>>
>>
>> Then the heading should say "HTML 4.01".
>
>
> It's longer, and it's not clear to me that people are actually confused
> about what "HTML4" refers to.
>
>
>>> "Modern HTML differences from HTML4"? I'm not convinced that's a win.
>>> "Near-future" seems wrong since it's more like "current".
>>
>>
>> The difficulty here directly reflects the vague nature of HTML5: it partly
>> tries to describe HTML as actually implemented and partly specifies features
>> that should (or "shall") be implemented. Hence it is both modern and
>> (intended to be) near-future.
>>
>> But the fundamental difficulty is that you are trying to describe a
>> specific version, or set of versions, of HTML without giving it a proper
>> name or version number.
>>
>> Since WHATWG does not use a proper name for its version (the title is just
>> "HTML"), I think the only way to refer to it properly is to prefix it with
>> "WHATWG". This would lead to the title
>>
>> "Differences of HTML5 and WHATWG HTML from HTML 4.01"
>
>
> Here "HTML5" is supposed to refer to "W3C HTML5 and W3C HTML5.1"?
>
> How about I go back to the original title "Differences from HTML4"?
> http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Differences_from_HTML4
>
>
>
>>> Such a document would be useful, but it's not this document. The primary
>>> focus for this document is what is different from HTML4.
>>
>>
>> But why? What is the purpose of this document? This is relevant to naming
>> it, and to the content too, of course. Now it is neither a reliable
>> comparison with links the relevant clauses nor an overview - it has too many
>> details, to begin with.
>
>
> It's more intended to be an overview. Can you give an example of something
> that is too detailed and suggest the level of detail that would be more
> appropriate?
>
>
>> Is this for authors who consider moving from HTML 4.01 to HTML 5?
>
>
> Yes.
>
>
>> Then I think it should primarily specify what HTML 4.01 features are
>> forbidden in HTML 5, then the extensions.
>
>
> Thanks, that's useful feedback.
>
>
> --
> Simon Pieters
> Opera Software



-- 
Gordon P. Hemsley
me@gphemsley.org
http://gphemsley.org/http://gphemsley.org/blog/
Received on Tuesday, 7 May 2013 14:38:08 UTC

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