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Re: Polyglot: the final thread?

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2013 14:29:27 -0700
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
CC: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>, Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Message-ID: <4p3o38fjc3e0ajwug8756s9e.1363555767007@email.android.com>
While I have sympathy for the use cases implied by the desire for a normative reference, that isn't easily measured, and it is in dispute: Too many believe W3C gave too much priority to enterprise at the expense of the "real" (public) internet, so a spec for use in private agreements isnt a priority (nor is the open consensus decision making process best.) As for ATOM, perhaps it should be redone with JSON and HTML anyway.

Sent from mobile Larry

Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com> wrote:

(chair hat on)

Larry, I have added your e-mail [1] to the background reading for F2F
discussion of polyglot [2] .

(TAG member hat on)

I find Larry's note to be well reasoned and to the point, and in general I
agree with it. There is a point I would add. It's been mentioned before,
but not in Larry's note:

* One important use for specifications like polyglot is for reference by
other specifications. The referring specifications might be open standards,
but might also be for use within an organization or corporation.

As I understand one of the arguments against a Polyglot recommendation
it's: "look, this is more or less happening anyway...the ability to do
polyglot is an emergent property of the HTML5 Recommendation". I.e. if you
want to write polyglot, nobody's stopping you.

What I want in addition is to reference the rules for doing Polyglot from
another spec. I want to have, e.g., a vertical standards organization or
corporation write their own specs saying: "Web documents published for use
in the [dental, construction, ACME Corp, ... ] community MUST include the
markup specified here, and must additionally be conforming polyglot
HTML/XML documents as specified in [POLYGLOTREC]."

You could imagine, for example, the ATOM folks considering a formal
reference to polyglot had a polyglot spec been available at the time.

For me, this is an important reason to have a formal polyglot specification
suitable for normative reference.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2013Mar/0082.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2013/03/18-agenda.html#polyglot

On 3/17/2013 2:44 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:
>> Just because the polyglot discussion awakens some of the old XML/HTML
>> politics doesn't mean it's architectural. At any rate there certainly
>> are more pressing topics for the TAG to apply its energies to.
> If the TAG is considering withdrawing its previous request, I wanted to make sure the TAG understood the reasons why I thought specifying Polyglot was important.
> Not only does it represent an enormous swath of the web (even 1% of web sites is enormous), but it is also the integrity of W3C as a responsible standards organization.
> * HTML is the most important specification in the W3C.
> * The HTML 4.01 recommendation was replaced by the XHTML 1.0 recommendation. It was important, as part of that effort, to describe a transition plan from HTML to XHTML, which was at least the motivation for Appendix C (which I supported in the HTML working group at the time).
> * Now that the intention is to obsolete XHTML with HTML (5), it would be irresponsible of W3C to not specify a transition plan for those who (for better or worse) adopted the previous W3C recommendation.
> * That is, HTML / XHTML polyglot is not some random minor transition path, it's the most important transition W3C is engaged in.
> * Perhaps only 6% of web sites hage polyglot home pages (although the use cases I imagine, the polyglot pages are more internal, where content is more important than presentation.)
> As for discussing this on public-html, I've submitted comments in the track
> Now, perhaps the 'architectural' principle is that every new version of a specification should provide an adequate description of the deployment/transition plan from the previous recommendation. HTML/XHTML polyglot should be advanced as part of that, if only to properly obsolete XHTML Appendix C.
> Larry
Received on Sunday, 17 March 2013 21:30:02 UTC

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