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Re: "Pave The Cowpaths" Design Principle

From: Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 12:13:53 +0100
Message-ID: <464995F1.7060209@mozilla.org>
CC: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> The intent of the principle was neither of these, at least by my 
> understanding. It was more like:


Well, that's three possible understandings. Perhaps it's worth the "Pave 
the Cowpaths" advocates making sure they are all on the same page, 
presenting the result to the group, and then the anti-Cows can see if 
they actually disagree with the principle as formulated. :-)

> If you want to solve a problem, and authors already have a common ad-hoc 
> solution, consider using the de facto solution rather than making up 
> something new, if it does not create significant problems to do so.

The word "consider" is a bit weaselly, in that the above turns from a 
principle into a suggestion. Even without a principle, I'm sure we'd 
always _consider_ using the de facto solution. But how much weight do we 
put on the fact that it's the current de facto solution? I think that's 
the question people are struggling with.

> 4) Define some commonly used class names to have their usual commonly 
> used semantics.

This isn't a Pave the Cowpaths thing, because (as far as I know) 
software which reads the web using semantic information doesn't 
currently pay attention to class names. (Or perhaps someone has 
counter-examples?) So no-one is using this "cowpath".

Received on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 11:14:19 UTC

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