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Re: "Pave The Cowpaths" Design Principle

From: Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 15:53:05 +0100
Message-ID: <464877D1.2050600@mozilla.org>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
CC: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org, Roger Johansson <roger@456bereastreet.com>

Laura Carlson wrote:
> The proposed HTML 5 design principle "Pave The Cowpaths" [4] does
> indeed seem to condone many practices that past specs  may have
> frowned upon. "Pave the Cowpaths" is an underlying principle being
> debated in many* of the recent semantics and accessibility threads on
> public-html@w3.org.

Is it possible that the two sides are talking past each other a little 
bit? I can see two possible formulations of "Pave the Cowpaths":

1) Find a thing lots of people are trying to do, and the markup 
hacks/proprietary features/workarounds they are using to do it, and put 
those hacks into the spec.

2) Find a thing lots of people are trying to do, and make sure the new 
spec provides a simple way to do it, which may or may not be related 
markup-wise to the way they are doing it now.

I think perhaps that many Pave The Cowpath proponents are arguing for 
2), but many of their opponents are afraid of and arguing against 1). 
Could that be so?

I would certainly argue for 2), but be against 1), as _principles_.

Received on Monday, 14 May 2007 14:53:44 UTC

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