Re: Polyglot: the final thread?

Yandex hat on...

On Sun, 17 Mar 2013 16:15:46 +0100, Noah Mendelsohn <>  

> (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]."

Yep. I'd like to have that. I agree it is basically an emergent property,  
but it is not as obvious as it might seem, and having the people who  
understand best what is emerging would be helpful.

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

I can imagine people, who find working in english a major barrier to  
participation, referring to whatever spec they find and understand easily.  
Which is a good reason for W3C to write good ones about its technology.

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

That said, if the HTML group is doing the work of building a spec for its  
technology, I think the TAG should say "thank you, call us if you think we  
can help", and then get on with all the other things it could usefully do.



Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex         Find more at

Received on Monday, 18 March 2013 09:23:33 UTC