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Re: Versioning re-visited (was : mixed signals on "Writing HTML documents", tutorial, etc.)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 21:55:08 +0000 (UTC)
To: Philip & Le Khanh <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
Cc: "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>, www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0706212150260.9149@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

Given how "meta" this discussion has become I've gone back to only cc'ing 

On Thu, 21 Jun 2007, Philip & Le Khanh wrote:
> Then are you claiming to be a better judge of an HTML document's
> validity than the current W3C Validator?


> I argue that "validity" is a simple pass-or-fail criterion, and that the 
> test of validity is the comparison of the document with the 
> specification against which it claims to have been written.  You are, I 
> think, arguing that "validity" varies over time, and that something that 
> was once "invalid" may become "valid" if it is consistent with a later 
> specification, or that something that was once "valid" may become 
> "invalid" for an analogous reason.

Validity to a particlar language version doesn't change. An HTML4- 
conforming document will always be HTML4-conforming. However, it might not 
be HTML5-conforming (and an HTML4-non-conforming document might in fact be 

All I am saying is that including a version in the document such that the 
validators check that version rather than the latest version is bad, 
because it shields authors from progress. Authors should be able to tell 
the conformance checker to check their document against a particular 
version if they have some sort of historical interest in that, but the 
document shouldn't claim to be a particular version, because then authors 
would (intentionally or not) hide behind that instead of improving the 
quality of their documents.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 21 June 2007 21:57:17 UTC

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