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RE: [css3-writing-modes] inconsistent handling of 'Tr' codepoints in 'text-orientation'

From: Koji Ishii <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 13:58:37 -0400
To: Sylvain Galineau <galineau@adobe.com>
CC: W3C Style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <A592E245B36A8949BDB0A302B375FB4E7CC8BAEA4C@MAILR001.mail.lan>
Thanks for the reply. I understand what you say, but I often use dictionary, so I'm afraid some wording might not be appropriate for the context or express what I want to say. It looks to me that sometimes you're asking something I replied, so I guess some of my text can't really read well. Sorry about my English.

You might not agree but to me, it looks like we're very close, but different conclusion. I'd like to clarify what's causing that, if you don't mind.

> Again, a spec is not some kind of voting contest where we add alternatives
> every time a few people want things to behave a certain way. Otherwise
> Microsoft may prefer a third option tomorrow and then we need to add that.
> Next week Apple may want have a fourth etc. Would the resulting menu of
> implementation option constitute a standard?

Completely agreed. But in this specific case, Tr is in UTR#50 for 1.5 years. Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Google are there. It's been in CSS spec more than two years, Mozilla and Opera are there. AH had also reviewed from implementation point of view, and we've got only two. Also, both makes logical sense to me, so I hope your concern will not be real in this specific case.

> Based on John's compelling argument and the opinion of a few experts I've
> heard from I do not think the fallback behavior is necessary.

Thanks, understood. As the editor of UTR#50, I wish you and people around you make feedback to Unicode, but that's not a topic here, let's focus on CSS for now.

> If they cannot tell the difference then what is the benefit of having two
> ways to do it, with two sets of testcases etc.? And if the result is the same
> then picking one is easy: the one that is simplest to code and test because
> it's the one that will be easiest to get right.
>
> If there is zero difference to users and authors, what is the payoff of writing
> *more* code?

I thought I explained this, so let me try another wording.

No benefits nor changes to users and authors. We agreed on this, right?

The cost is on the test-writer, true, I agree.

The benefits are for implementers. "The one that is simplest to code and test" is different. Neither side says "I like this so I want to write more code." Both sides say "this is much cheaper and simpler for me."

So the payoff of having two options is writing less code for everyone we know as of today, without adding any more codes to anyone. If we pick one, the other side has to write more code.

Actually, when AH requested the UTR#50 behavior, it was considered as more code and it was just he was willing to do, so I declined the request. After that, another developer said it's actually cheaper for him, and it was considered that it's not only him. I took it at that point.

Does this make better sense? It looks to me that our goals are the same, no?

/koji

-----Original Message-----
From: Sylvain Galineau [mailto:galineau@adobe.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2013 2:22 AM
To: Koji Ishii
Cc: W3C Style
Subject: Re: [css3-writing-modes] inconsistent handling of 'Tr' codepoints in 'text-orientation'



On 10/2/13 9:43 AM, "Koji Ishii" <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp> wrote:

>I have no idea what makes you so emotional. Did I say something 
>impolite or illogical?

I'm sorry; what was emotional? Baffled is not really intended to represent an emotion here; I don't understand why anyone would think offering implementors multiple ways to do one thing makes their lives easier or reduces compatibility issues; or why we make CSS more compatible with Unicode when we say it's conformant to take an incompatible option. Those things just don't add up. And every attempt to clarify the gap just ends up with a re-iteration of the same confusing assertions. So yeah, it's baffling. There is nothing emotional about it; John, you and I just appear to be stuck in a pattern and I can't figure out a way out of it.

So nothing impolite at all; but illogical, sure. I've pointed out quite a few things I find illogical.

>
>Your opinion is not to have two options, I understand that, but which?

Based on John's compelling argument and the opinion of a few experts I've heard from I do not think the fallback behavior is necessary.

>
>1. We accepted John's proposal to move text-orientation:mixed to 
>Unicode two years ago.
>2. John then said Tr is hard to implement for him, tiny tailoring will 
>make it much easier.
>3. Another implementer said John's proposal is hard for him, requested 
>to stick to Unicode.
>
>Both are the same arguments, just opposite, and the numbers of 
>supporters are coincidentally the same as of today.

Again, a spec is not some kind of voting contest where we add alternatives every time a few people want things to behave a certain way. Otherwise Microsoft may prefer a third option tomorrow and then we need to add that.
Next week Apple may want have a fourth etc. Would the resulting menu of implementation option constitute a standard?

>
>I agree with you as general rules, but in this specific case, I do not 
>see a good way to pick one, nor anything anyone would lose by allowing 
>both.
>
>John already mentioned that users and authors will not know the 
>difference.

If they cannot tell the difference then what is the benefit of having two ways to do it, with two sets of testcases etc.? And if the result is the same then picking one is easy: the one that is simplest to code and test because it's the one that will be easiest to get right.

>
>You're right implementers need to spend time on choosing which 
>implementation s/he would take, but the cost return will pay the time 
>s/he spend to choose.

If there is zero difference to users and authors, what is the payoff of writing *more* code?

>
>I can write a test that both implementations can pass. I haven't done 
>it yet, but I know how to do it and I'm hoping to write it in some TTWF.
>
>Well, if you're talking only about general rules but not this specific 
>case, I completely agree with you, sorry that this discussion must be a 
>noise to you.

If it was noise to me I'd completely ignore it. I don't understand what you and John are jammed on; I've chatted with people more knowledgeable than me about this topic and thus far they've been unanimously as confused as me. Thanks for trying though...

>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Sylvain Galineau [mailto:galineau@adobe.com]
>Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:06 AM
>To: Koji Ishii
>Cc: W3C Style
>Subject: Re: [css3-writing-modes] inconsistent handling of 'Tr'
>codepoints in 'text-orientation'
>
>
>
>On 10/2/13 8:42 AM, "Koji Ishii" <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp> wrote:
>
>>> >It's implementers and implementers. On one side, two implementers 
>>> >said it's hard, so we added option B. On the other side, two 
>>> >implementers said they'd favor option A. One of them said he has 
>>> >already implemented option A.
>>> 
>>> I do not think your role as editor is to log every implementor 
>>>preference and spec it as an  alternative. It is a very bad idea for 
>>>specs to offer implementors equally conformant option  as this 
>>>results in incompatibility for content and authors.
>>
>>I completely agree with your statement on the editor's role, and the 
>>second sentence as well.
>>
>>This is the case where all agreed that the incompatibility caused by 
>>the difference is very subtle, almost unnoticeable, and will be 
>>completely gone when user use the right fonts.
>
>If this is such a small unnoticeable issue then specifying multiple 
>implementation options is massive overkill. I also fail to understand 
>why we'd want to suggest fallback behavior if we believe users will 
>always have the right font in the not-so-distant future.
>
>One more thing: that someone already implemented one of these options 
>is not a valid motive to include it in the spec or keep it there. We do 
>not create implementation forks in a standard because someone did 
>something at the draft stage.
>
>
>>
>>The costs to implement vary by underlying architecture. For one 
>>architecture, option A is much cheaper, while for another 
>>architecture, it's opposite.
>
>The cost of UAs doing the same thing differently should be multiplied 
>by all the authors who will have to deal with it. You should consider 
>the overall cost of varying implementations, not just the cost to the 
>tiny number of people who implement it.
>
>Also, if we believe implementors to be sensitive to implementation cost 
>then it's entirely reasonable to assume they will overwhelmingly favor 
>the option that does not include extra work i.e. they will not 
>implement the fallback behavior. That is also a good reason to question 
>its necessity.
>
>>
>>Having two options help both implementers, while we lose almost zero, 
>>compatibility in the real world isn't sacrificed, only tests might 
>>fail, and some does care passing tests.
>
>I completely disagree. Having multiple options to choose from does not 
>help implementors, not is it compatibility-neutral. It will  also 
>require more test cases since you need a set of tests for each 
>conformant alternative. It is more work for everyone; yet you argued 
>earlier that this is an subtle unnoticeable problem. Why would we want 
>to increase the cost of dealing with a minor issue?
>
>>
>>That is why I'm asking, why John thinks we should remove option A.
>
>I think we have reached a pretty complete communication failure at this 
>stage, since so many of your arguments rely either on known design 
>anti-patterns or incoherent positions. I'll admit I'm 100% baffled here.
>
>>
>>/koji
>>
>

Received on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 17:59:09 UTC

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