[whatwg] several messages

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Jan 3 15:54:14 PST 2007

On Tue, 26 Dec 2006, Mike Schinkel wrote:
> I'm wondering if you collectively would consider adding the following to 
> the spec; a recommendation that clients offer two "modes"; one mode 
> being for users where the spec works as currently envisioned. The second 
> mode would be for web developers and would generate errors for invalid 
> markup as opposed to generating no errors (Ian had said it was preferred 
> to not generate errors for invalid markup to ensure users were willing 
> to use browsers based on the newer spec; a dual mode would give the best 
> of both worlds.)
> If all clients had such a dual mode, I think it would be much more 
> likely that web developers would create valid markup.  I just hope you 
> guys can envision that being something mentioned and marked as "SHOULD" 
> in the spec.

The spec already allows this:

# This specification defines the parsing rules for HTML documents, whether 
# they are syntactically valid or not. Certain points in the parsing 
# algorithm are said to be parse errors. The error handling for parse 
# errors is well-defined: user agents must either act as described below 
# when encountering such problems, or must abort processing at the first 
# error that they encounter for which they do not wish to apply the rules 
# described below.

The "wishes" of the user agent described above could easily change at the 
whim of the user, via a user interface control such as you propose.

On Sat, 30 Dec 2006, Mike Schinkel wrote:
> It appears that many of my suggestions are considered to be several 
> longer term participants to be "out of scope."  Unfortunately I have 
> been unable to indentify any guidance in my readings of the 
> specification guidelines[1] that would indicate why my suggestions would 
> be considered out of scope. It would be very helpful for me as well as 
> everyone else to avoid wasting time if you could point me to findings 
> and/or alternate authoritative documents, or even specific wording in 
> [1] that would allow me to determine in advance which things that I 
> might consider proposing would be out of scope.  And specifically it 
> would be helpful if you could point me to such guidance that would 
> indicate why this latest proposal is out of scope. Thanks in advance.

Basically, anything that user agents must do the same in order for content 
to be treated equivalently is in scope. User interface is out of scope (it 
doesn't matter if the browser has an address bar or not, it's still 
processing the Web the same way, for example). Performance characteristics 
are out of scope (it doesn't matter how fast something happens: a browser 
that renders a page in a minute and one that renders it in a second are 
both equivalent). Implementation internals are out of scope (it doesn't 
matter if the browser implements the spec using a neural network or 
imperative algorithms, so long as the end result is the same).

On Sat, 30 Dec 2006, Mike Schinkel wrote:
> > 
> > "This specification is limited to providing a semantic-level markup 
> > language and associated semantic-level scripting APIs for authoring 
> > accessible pages on the Web ranging from static documents to dynamic 
> > applications." 
> > http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#scope
> That said, I'd like to question if the scope is actually sufficient?  
> If one of the realities of the HTML5 spec is dealing with tag soup, I 
> would think that a scope that does not attempt to address that issue is 
> A Bad Thing(tm).

The "tag soup" is just the parsing rules. The parsing rules are part of 
the markup language. The markup language is explicitly in scope.

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

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