[whatwg] clear naming for WHAT work

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Aug 19 06:32:13 PDT 2004

On Tue, 17 Aug 2004, Jim Ley wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:59:03 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> > I don't understand why extending HTML would be any different than
> > extending XHTML. In the UAs, they are internally considered the same
> > anyway, so you can't really extend one without extending the other.
> Of course you can, internals of existing browsers are pretty
> irrelevant to future specifications, and browsers such as Mozilla
> already do completely different things in respect to XHTML and HTML
> (mozilla's xhtml is too useless to be used with its lack of
> incremental rendering, yet its HTML rendering is pretty good.)  Of
> course this is at a different part to the eventual rendering code
> which might be shared, but it shows how easy it is to have seperate
> behaviour for different mark-up languages I think.

I have been told, by people qualified to know, that what you write above 
is largely untrue or irrelevant or both.

HTML and XHTML use the same underlying implementations in all existing 
HTML/XHTML browsers, and there is no good reason to change this. Changing 
it would in fact merely lead to more code paths and thus more bugs.

The only real differences are on the parsing side (the source of the 
incremental rendering issue you like to bring up so often) and some minor 
differences in rendering, actually required by CSS, which are the source 
of muliple bugs and are therefore best kept to a strict minimum.

Specifications have to take into account implementation feedback, for 
obvious reasons.

> > > Tim Bray also suggests that you fake the namespaces in HTML (ie 
> > > <what:output>). I'm with him on this.
> > 
> > This isn't, IMHO, good design. Authors do not care if the tags were 
> > invented by WHATWG or W3C or Microsoft or Netscape; they just want to 
> > use them.
> I think you need to come up with something a lot more persuasive than 
> this, users who don't understand namespaces are just as likely to 
> understand <what:output> as the whole tag to enter, all you need to do 
> is require that the only prefix to use is what, and stupid developers 
> won't need to know about "namespaces".  As to the boilerplate xmlns: 
> gibberish at the top, thanks to great decisions from browser vendors 
> like "standards mode rendering".  even the stupidest author understands 
> the importance of such gibberish.

Based on talking with such authors, I do not believe what you write here 
to be in any way representative of the author population.

> > Fragmenting the specs is a bad thing.
> So why are there 2 specs (web forms and web-apps) when you say
> yourself above this is really just HTML 5 or similar, that certainly
> looks like fragmentation to me.

I was referring to fragmenting specs to create different versions for 
different parts of the Web, as opposed to having a single profile used by 
all devices.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

More information about the whatwg mailing list