[whatwg] WA1: Conformance requirements

L. David Baron dbaron at dbaron.org
Thu Mar 9 09:19:58 PST 2006

On Tuesday 2006-03-07 01:34 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Mon, 6 Mar 2006, L. David Baron wrote:
> >
> > Some comments on section 1.8, "Conformance requirements" in the
> > 2006-02-16 draft of Web Applications 1.0 (whose permanent URL claims to
> > be http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/ ).
> > 
> > The opening sentence:
> >   As well as sections marked as non-normative, all diagrams, examples,
> >   and notes in this specification are non-normative.
> > is unnecessarily complicated.  Instead, I would suggest combining it and
> > the following sentence:
> >   All of this specification is normative, except for sections marked as
> >   non-normative, diagrams, examples, and notes.
> This was changed as a result of:
>    http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2004-December/002780.html
> I'm not convinced that your suggested improvement scans better, and it may 
> in fact reintroduce the problem in a different way (does it refer to 
> "sections marked as diagrams"?).

OK, then why not just change the order?

# All of this specification is normative, except for diagrams, examples,
# notes, and sections marked as non-normative.

> > I'm also not entirely sure that "user agent" is an appropriate term for 
> > all of the implementations described here.  I think it refers to an 
> > implementation that a user uses to access the Web, i.e., a browser.  
> A user agent is an agent (a program) that acts on behalf of a user. It's 
> actually somewhat of a tautology (all agents act on behalf of users).
> IMHO, anyway.
> Certainly historically the Google spider has been termed a UA.

Just because it's been done doesn't mean it makes sense.  That said, I
don't have a better idea.

> > It says:
> >   Conformance requirements phrased as requirements on elements,
> >   attributes, methods or objects are conformance requirements on user
> >   agents.
> > They are?  It seems like they're much more likely to be conformance
> > requirements on documents.  I'm having trouble finding a single example
> > that I think is a requirement for a user agent.
> This is referring to, e.g.:
>    "If the content attribute is absent, the DOM attribute must return the 
>    default value, if the content attribute has one, or else the empty 
>    string."
> ...or:
>    "The event object must have its screenX, screenY, clientX, clientY, and 
>    button attributes set to 0, its ctrlKey, shiftKey, altKey, and metaKey 
>    attributes set according to the current state of the key input device, 
>    if any (false for any keys that are not available), its detail  
>    attribute set to 1, and its relatedTarget attribute set to null."

Ah, so you meant *DOM* attributes, not markup attributes.  That makes a
bit more sense, but you should probably say so.  Still, do you have
examples of requirements on elements?

> Could you point out the examples that aren't requirements on UAs?

# An ins element must only contain content that would still be conformant
# if all ins elements were replaced by their contents.

# The datetime attribute may be used to specify the time and date of the
# change.

# The event-source element may also have an onevent="" attribute.


L. David Baron                                <URL: http://dbaron.org/ >
           Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation
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