[whatwg] several messages

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at gmail.com
Wed Jan 3 23:28:25 PST 2007

Ian Hickson wrote:
> # 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.

I think you are saying that it could allow it?

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

Is there no room in a spec to make non-normative suggestions, and as way to
get Good Ideas(tm) to occur to implementors that without any such suggestion
may not occur to many, and certainly wouldn't occur to implementors across
the board? Many of my suggestions are of that type. 

I'm reminded of a section in my favorite business book "New Rules for the
New Economy" [1] by Kevin Kelly where he talks about Loren Carpenter [2] at
SIGGRAPH having wired 5000 joysticks to average their input and then allowed
the 5000 attendees to "fly" a flight simulator, which they did flawlessly.
Several years later he returned to SIGGRAPHG with a more complex submarine
simulation, yet the attendees were unable to move the submarine at all;
their respective inputs were cancelling each other out. At least until
Loren, out of frustration simply yelled "Go left!" at which point the
attendees were easily able to complete their "mission."  

The point is when there is significant complexity involved with a large
number of actors who needed to independently make coordinated decisions
without guidance they will just create chaos. That's why I keep asking you
to include simple guidance to hopefully avoid many of the problems that
occurred with <= HTML4 that so constrains HTML. I'm asking you to tell the
implementors to "Go left."

-Mike Schinkel

[1] http://astore.amazon.com/mikeschinkels-20/detail/014028060X (p17-18)
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loren_Carpenter

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