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Re: Normative status of author-only view of the HTML5 specification

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 07:34:59 +1000
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=SBTxunKacUAtFgSf3rp=NzX60FA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 7:25 AM, Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:
> On Jun 7, 2011, at 2:06 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 1:56 PM, Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:
>>> On Jun 7, 2011, at 1:09 PM, James Graham wrote:
>>>> On Tue, 7 Jun 2011, Paul Cotton wrote:
>>>>>> Given that we would then have two documents with normative status describing how HTML is defined. Which of the two is authoritative if the two don't agree?
>>>>> Our goal is have the two documents agree - the author-only view is generated directly from the HTML5 spec.
>>>> Nevertheless it seems undesirable to have two different documents claim authority over what constitues valid HTML. I would much prefer the document containing only the author view of the spec to be explicitly informative and clearly marked as a subset of the full HTML5 spec published for the convenience of one target audience.
>>> The audience of HTML5 authors and authoring tool makers is several orders of magnitude larger than the audience of browser makers. Given the way that the full spec is written, it will not be considered authoritative regardless of what is in the front matter.  If the author-only view is authoritative, then there will be pressure to both keep it in sync with the larger spec and keep the work at W3C.  If the author-only view is not authoritative, then there is no need for it to be in sync with a larger spec that nobody implements -- it will be replaced by documents that accurately describe HTML as implemented.
>> Again, this doesn't actually answer the question at hand.
> *sigh*
> The answer is that it is desirable for both documents to be authoritative or for *only* the author view to be authoritative.  This has already been discussed.  This was a constraint that the TAG placed on continuance of the browser-centric spec.  If you want to object to the full HTML5 spec being authoritative, feel free to do so.

The question was: which one is authoritative if they disagree. Even if
you say that they won't disagree because they are created from the
same source, there will be corner cases where the Web developer
document may be incomplete compared to the UA document. I would
suspect that the UA document is more extensive and should therefore be
the more authoritative one over the Web developer document.

Being a  Web developer myself, I don't really care whether the Web
developer document is authoritative or not. If it is more readable
than the other one, I will use it. Only where I would have in-depth
questions that aren't answered by the Web developer document would I
go back to the actually authoritative UA document.

I wouldn't draw my conclusions on how to do things from these document
only either - I would search the Web for best practices that people
have published and then make up my mind which recommendation is the
best based on tests of what happens in the different browsers.

In short: I would have no issue with the Web developer document being
informative only.

Received on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 21:35:55 UTC

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