[whatwg] [WF2] Web Forms 2.0: Repetition and type ID

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sun Jul 3 17:58:31 PDT 2005

On Mon, 4 Jul 2005, Robin Berjon wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > No, I expect typical authors to be quite happy not worrying about 
> > generic XML authoring tools and just to use [ ] instead, which is 
> > perfectly conformant in HTML5.
> I can't help but take exception with this kind of argument, especially 
> coming from people who should clearly know better. For crying out loud 
> the Web is *BIG*. Authors who fall into the "atypical" box could count 
> in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Would a browser that just 
> handles the typical Web document (whatever that is) be good enough? That 
> would probably leave a good 30% of the HTML out there completely broken.  
> Same goes for Web technology, while it can't cater to anyone it should 
> clearly strive to take more than just Joe into account, no matter how 
> nice Joe is.

Uh, yes, that's why I'm trying to resolve this... I still stand by my 
statement above that this won't affect most people.

Even if it does affect a lot of people.

You seem to be arguing against something I never said.

> > Actually I expect most authors to never even remotely come close to 
> > this problem, since you only hit it if you are doing _all_ of the 
> > following:
> > 
> >  1. Using repetition blocks with the template name substitution feature.
> >  2. Nesting such templates.
> >  3. Using the XML serialisation of HTML5.
> >  4. Trying to use tools that are based on XML DTDs or XML Schemas.
> You don't need 4 to be true, and not necessarily 3 either. Whenever I 
> write small and silly Perl scripts to handle HTML documents on a box the 
> way Joe Sysadmin would I tend to use whatever's best in that toolbox, 
> and as it happens a lot of those tools are just XML parsers that happen 
> to also know how to parse HTML

You do need 4 to be true. And 3.

You need 4 to be true because if you aren't validating, then it doesn't 
matter than the ID is not valid -- it's still well-formed and the UA will 
therefore handle it fine.

You need 3 to be true because if you are using an HTML5 UA, then it must 
handle these IDs. If it doesn't it's buggy.

> even though they might not be trying to be completely compliant (but 
> they're "on my box" tools, so why should I care? I don't want them to be 
> as complicated as browsers are).

Supporting all characters in IDs seems easier than supporting an arbitrary 
subset. So being compliant to HTML5 seems like it would reduce complexity.

But in any case, the argument "but you can't do that, UAs might not be 
compliant" seems somewhat strange in the context of making the spec.

> It's likely that arbitrary incompatibilities will make at least some of 
> them unhappy, for reasons unobvious to their users.

Are you aware of any tools that actually have a problem dealing with IDs 
that contain [ ] characters?

> IMHO no matter how many syntaxes HTML 5 has, they should all be able to 
> encode the same information. Otherwise people will be having to chose 
> between them for the wrong reasons.

HTML5-as-XML can encode SVG.

HTML5-as-HTML can't.

I don't see any way to change that.

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

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