[whatwg] some issues

Jim Ley jim.ley at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 15:05:47 PDT 2004

On Mon, 05 Jul 2004 15:19:28 -0400, Matthew Raymond
<mattraymond at earthlink.net> wrote:
>    After going back an review your previous email and the latest WF2
> draft, I figured out what the issue is. The WF2 draft modifies XHTML to
> bring it in line with RFC3023 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3023). From
> Section A.4:

What?  This is talking about general XML and why sniffing isn't
appropriate, it doesn't talk about applications of XML such as XHTML
which are free to put whatever further constaints it feels like, and
as has been quoted XHTML requires a doctype.

>    On the contrary, a monolithic proposal would be a disaster. It
> creates an "eggs in one basket" scenario where the W3C could reject the
> entire specification.

I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the W3 here, the WHAT WG
members have refused to say which standards organisation they're
taking it to (and as they're not members there's nothing stopping them

>    WHAT WG has wisely elected to take a modular approach to these
> drafts.

It's not really modular is it, only spec is in even a remotely
meaningful state, if you're right and there's no independence between
them (which isn't a sentiment I've seen from elsewhere on the list)
then they're not modules.  If they are modules with interdependence,
then they need to be at similar levels of maturity, in that case, I
agree they might aswell be in a single spec.

> 1) The time it takes to get feedback from a standards organization is
> significantly reduced.

There's no feedback from standards orgs being solicited in any of the
specs at this time.
> 3) Problems encountered during the submission of earlier drafts can be
> addresses in later drafts.

Sorry, I don't really see how this is a strength of split ones, or do
you envisage the Web Controls 1.0 spec fixing the problems of Web
Forms 2.0?

> This is less likely with a monolithic spec,
> because the more general topic may not attract their attention.

I've never seen this to be a problem with other specifications, I
think the bigger problem with the WF2 spec is the lack of commentary
from the "likely suspects".  The current commentary is from a very few
developers, there's even only 3 or 4 of the Working Group themselves
ever commenting on suggestions.  If we can't even get their expertise
into the spec, how can we expect 3rd part people?

>> As it stands, the fact that the proposals over-ride W3C
>> recommendations on HTML/XHTML is almost a guarantee that no
>> standards committee aside from the W3C itself could ever ratify
>> them.
>    I seriously doubt that the W3C will throw out the entire Web Forms
> 2.0 proposal over a disagreement over DOCTYPE.

So you agree the W3C is the only option to take this to a standards
body?    If that's the case, then it really should be made explicit,
so far thw WHAT WG themselves have not said this, they've mentioned
ECMA and ISO too.

>    So do we tell everyone with web-enabled phones "tough luck"?

Currently the spec only claims to extend HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.1, it
makes no mention of XHTML Basic at all.  So that looks like what's

> If
> the developer isn't worried about implementing each of the three
> specifications one at a time, I'm not going to worry about it either.

The problem comes when you're deciding how to implement things, I
believe C Williams comments were suggesting that a vendor other than
Opera/Safari/Mozilla could feel at a disadvantage because they don't
know what's coming up in the next module of the specification that may
heavily impact on how to design something.

For example if Web Controls says that authors can style input
type=datetime into 3 select boxes by some mechanism, then the WF2
implementation would need to be flexible enough to deal with this.  
There are many excellent browsers in competition with Opera on the
mobile platform, I was rather intentionally anti-opera in many
previous comments on this list, not that I necressarily believe those
situations, but as C Williams says, the need to be seen to be
independant, and above reproach is so important.

>    With all of the top browser developers except for Microsoft being
> represented in WHAT WG

I'm sorry, I don't agree with this, both Macromedia  and Adobe are not
represented, neither   are the many mobile  browser  vendors,  some of
who'm almost certainly have more UA's shipped than Safari.


More information about the whatwg mailing list