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Re: Complex Table Examples

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 21:05:45 +0200
To: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <vbme43554l0vca75stqv20e9tkdf27avjo@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

* L. David Baron wrote:
>On Sunday 2007-05-13 14:24 +1000, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> No, that's backwards.  Nothing gets added or retained without some 
>> evidence that it's needed.  Otherwise, you could use that argument to 
>> get us show why the <foo> element isn't needed, instead having the ones 
>> who asked for it explain why it is.  Saying it should be included in 
>> HTML5 just because it was in HTML4 isn't good enough.
>I disagree.
>If something is implemented and used on the Web, it should stay in
>the HTML spec.  Mark as deprecated if you want, but don't pretend
>that mistakes of the past will disappear if you remove them from the
>Implementations are still going to need to implement these features.
>Forcing implementors to read every version of the spec in order to
>implement HTML (especially when some of the old versions don't
>actually bother saying how to implement it) will reduce quality and
>interoperability of implementations (and not just for the features
>that aren't in HTML5, since implementors will read the older
>specifications for features that are in HTML5 as well).

I am not quite sure what you are saying or where the actual disagreement
is. I understood Lachlan and your position to be that "HTML5" should be
two standards, one that gives implementers the information they need to
implement HTML as used on the web, and a separate standard that defines
what HTML as a document format is, i.e., syntax, elements, attributes,
and how to use them to make documents. Lachlan seems to be talking about
the latter standard, all elements, attributes and so on should be pro-
hibited unless a convincing case is made to include them; you seem to be
talking about the latter standard, everything that needs to be implemen-
ted, should be documented accordingly. If so, these positions are not
mutually exclusive and there is no actual disagreement. Indeed, I under-
stood you supported to prohibit e.g. the various "presentational" HTML
features, like <table border>, <img border>, <font>, because, quote,

  The value of having these things as changes in HTML5 comes from
  authors who use conformance checkers that will tell them to avoid
  these bad practices ...

wheras above you seem to be saying, because these features are widely
used and implemented, they should not be prohibited, at most deprecated.
Indeed it seems virtually everyone on this list prefers if the next ver-
sion of the HTML standard further tightens its grip on web page quality
and document format simplicity, the main disagreement being how much
tighter it should be, and how much implementer documentation there ought
to be; some would say feature x should be prohibited for documents but
documented for implementations, while others want feature x to be ex-
cluded from both parts. So if you have indeed changed your position, you
would appear to be in a very small minority. It seems much more likely
though that you and Lachlan are simply talking about different sub-
standards of HTML.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
68309 Mannheim · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/ 
Received on Sunday, 13 May 2007 19:06:00 UTC

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