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Re: HTML/XML TF Report glosses over Polyglot Markup (Was: Statement why the Polyglot doc should be informative)

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2012 15:17:16 -0500
Message-ID: <50BA65CC.7060405@arcanedomain.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
CC: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, public-html WG <public-html@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Norm Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
Leif: I will put your concerns to the TAG on our call this Thursday.

 > I did not take part in the HTML/XML Task Force.

I should say that drafts of the Task Force report were out for public 
review for quite extended periods before it was finalized. That does not, 
of course, say anything about the merits of your concerns, but we'll have 
to see how to balance Maceij's suggestion that responses in a couple of 
weeks would be most useful, with going back to reconsider a report that was 
developed and publicly reviewed over an extended period of time last year.

Thank you.


On 11/30/2012 2:10 PM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> CC-ing the TAG,
> Henri Sivonen, Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:27:35 +0200:
>> On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM, Sam Ruby … wrote:
>>> We still have Formal Objections which have not been withdrawn.  Are we to
>>> proceed within the working group or are we to forward this matter to the
>>> Director?
>> As Maciej said, the purpose of
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Nov/0006.html was
>> to serve as a way to go to a poll within the WG. My expectation is to
>> proceed to a poll within the WG. However, before doing so, it would be
>> interesting to see the TAG’s take on
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2012Nov/0047.html .
> I did not take part in the HTML/XML Task Force. But I am critical about
> what the report says (very little!) about polyglot markup.  Here are my
> comments on that report, from that angle:
> Regarding "2.1 How can an XML toolchain be used to consume HTML?"
>            http://www.w3.org/TR/html-xml-tf-report/#uc01,
>   TF says: In the problem refinement, the TF go astray, by replacing
>            "HTML" with "Web" (how can an XML toolchain be used to
>            consume the Web), quote: "HTML is not guaranteed (or even
>            likely, […] to be well-formed". As soon as you replaced
>            HTML with Web, then Polyglot Markup in reality went out
>            the window. With that problem description, the only role
>            of Polyglot Markup becomes as  *output format* for
>            the bespoke toolchain, but that use, is never discussed.
>   Verdict: W.r.t. Polyglot Markup, section 2.1 mixes up the arguments
> Regarding "2.2 How can an HTML toolchain be used to consume XML?"
>            http://www.w3.org/TR/html-xml-tf-report/#uc02
>   TF says: "the most successful approach may be to simply translate
>            the XML to HTML5 before passing it to the HTML5 tool"
>   Verdict: How come this section didn't evaluate Polyglot Markup?
> Regarding "2.3 How can islands of HTML be embedded in XML?"
>            http://www.w3.org/TR/html-xml-tf-report/#uc03
>   TF says: EITHER, create HTML as "well-formed XML" = "requirements
>            on the author" OR absolve the author by (having the tool)
>            escaping markup.
>   Verdict: How come you didn't mention having the tool output
>            Polyglot Markup?
> Regarding "2.4 How can islands of XML be embedded in HTML?"
>            http://www.w3.org/TR/html-xml-tf-report/#uc04
>   TF says: Use <script> as XML container and use JavaScript to make it
>            render in the DOM.
>   Verdict: It seems like Polyglot Markup does not discuss that approach.
>            If the TF document had purported to be an evaluation of
>            Polyglot Markup, you would have discussed it.
>      Also: I don't understand the last sentence: "Note also that
>            polyglot markup is not an aid here as it forbids arbitrary
>            XML content from the document." Does it? It doesn't any
>            more than HTML5 proper does: If you add something that
>            HTML5 doesn't permit, then it isn't HTML5 any more but
>            "extended  HTMl5". But clearly, it is possible to create
>            "extended polyglot markup" - just apply its principles.
> Regarding "2.5 How can XML be made more forgiving of errors?"
>            http://www.w3.org/TR/html-xml-tf-report/#uc05
>   TF says: XML5, error handling in XML etc.
>   Verdict: Provided that the goal of the task force (improved
>            "interoperability between HTML and XML") could be
>            be helped by making XML fail in the exact way that
>            HTML fails, then why did you not discuss Polyglot
>            Markup as an option here?
> Regarding "3 Conclusions"
>            http://www.w3.org/TR/html-xml-tf-report/#conclusions
>   TF says: Despite how little the body of the report deals with it, the
> last paragraph of the conclusions - on Polyglot Markup, takes up one
> third of it. And it reflects what was said under section 2.1: "One
> line" holds up polyglot markup and the robustness principle as one
> approach. But then "Another line" views it from the angle of "the Web",
> and dismisses it: "If you want to consume HTML content, use an HTML
> parser that produces an XML-compatible DOM or event stream."
>   Verdict: The idea that this HTML parser could produce polyglot markup
> (and no: not in order to pee in the tag soup ocean, but in order to be
> a more useful parser in that tool chaing!), is never discussed.
> Over all, the report is trapped in some well known dichotomies. And
> Polyglot Markup is not considered in a serious way. The Task Force's
> report is a very thin basis for rescinding the request for robust,
> polyglot markup.
Received on Saturday, 1 December 2012 20:17:49 UTC

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