[whatwg] [html5] tags, elements and generated DOM

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Apr 7 03:44:24 PDT 2005

On Thu, 7 Apr 2005, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> > 
> > A conformance checker that doesn't check for all the machine-checkable 
> > things is not compliant, just like a browser that doesn't support 
> > everything in the spec is not compliant.
> Fair enough, but is the spec going to specify exactly which conformance 
> criteria fits into which of the 3 categories you've now added, or is 
> expected that implementors will be able to make an educated guess to 
> decide for themselves?

This is something I've been pondering myself, actually. I've been trying 
to think of a way to label the conformance requirements that conformence 
checkers are exempt from checking. In fact I'd quite like to label every 
conformance requirements with flags to indicate who it applies to. That's 
a lot of work though and may get quick messy, so I haven't done it yet.

> It doesn't need to be altered, it only needs to be pointed to an HTML 5 
> DTD, with the system identifier (the URI) in the DOCTYPE.

At the moment I have no intention of personally writing a DTD, schema or 
similar for WHATWG specs. Fantasai once volunteered to do so, but I don't 
know the status of this.

I am very reluctant to put a particular DTD in the DOCTYPE, though. Given 
that DTDs are highly inadequate for catching errors, it feels very wrong 
to me to be giving a particulr DTD any kind of legitimacy at that level.

This doesn't stop conformance checker implements from writing DTDs of 
their own and then placing them in their SGML catalog so that the HTML5 
DOCTYPE triggers that DTD, though. The point is that different conformance 
checker vendors should be able to write their own DTD for HTML5 to 
complement the rest of the conformance checking process. As the mix 
between DTD-based and other checking will probably be vendor-dependent, I 
don't see why we'd want to elevate any particular DTD to official status.

> > This is not a bad thing. One hopes that HTML5's more detailed 
> > conformance requirements will encourage the development of truly 
> > useful conformance checkers that don't mislead people into thinking 
> > they have written correct documents when in fact they have just fixed 
> > the small subset of errors that the limited validator catches.
> I hope so, cause existing conformance checkers (often called "lints" 
> [1]) for HTML aren't really useful cause they're often only subjective 
> and issue bogus errors or don't catch all errors.

Exactly. By being more precise about what conformance checkers must check, 
we should sidestep that problem.

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

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