[whatwg] microformats incompatible with WebApps 1.0 ?

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Dec 11 21:10:19 PST 2006

On Tue, 12 Dec 2006, Karl Dubost wrote:
> Le 5 déc. 2006 à 16:02, Ian Hickson a écrit :
> > >
> > > So if they are just ignored, I guess that leaves full room for 
> > > people to extend the document with other attributes.
> > 
> > Um, no, that would be non-conformant, and would make it extremely hard 
> > to extend the language ourselves in the future.
> Le 12 déc. 2006 à 13:40, Ian Hickson a écrit :
> > >
> > > So is the better approach to wait until the issue has created real 
> > > non-reversable problems and the web is even more Balkanized?
> > 
> > Yes. That's how technologies evolve and are designed. You let the 
> > market show you what is needed, then you address it. Addressing 
> > problems before they exist is a form of premature optimisation and is 
> > not a good way to design technologies.

There is no contradiction here as I assume you are implying. The context 
is extension mechanisms. It is important to have well-defined extension 
mechanisms, to allow for authors to experiment and address their needs 
without having to affect all users of the technology. It is equally 
important to ensure that such extension mechanisms are well-scoped so that 
future extensions to the language itself aren't constrained, as has 
happened in certain areas (for example, when it comes to the parsing of 
certain elements). Extension mechanisms benefit from forethought, but do 
not require it. Experience gained from the creation of extension 
mechanisms by subsets of the community can contribute towards the 
development of the language as a whole.

> Morality: if you are a community with needs, microformats, sw, etc. do 
> whatever you want, it doesn't matter that much :) The Web is already 97% 
> invalid. It will be more tag soup BUT at least once you have reached a 
> critical mass, people will formalized in a specs your practices which 
> were once done.

I'm going to assume this is just a troll. I am pretty sure you fully 
understand that the above paragraph is a gross mischaracterisation. It 
isn't clear to me why you are attempting to provoke meaningless discussion 
that detracts from actual progress, but I would ask you to please stop 
doing so.

> question: why do we create specs?

To ensure interoperability between products from different groups of 
people, in a fashion that addresses the majority of the needs of those 
groups. More specifically in the case of Web specifications, to ensure 
that content written by one group of people will be understood to mean the 
same thing by all its readers, and will be processed in the same way by 
all software, even if the software was not written with that content in 

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

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