[whatwg] One document or two?

Sander Tekelenburg st at isoc.nl
Thu May 24 21:48:48 PDT 2007

At 00:38 +0000 UTC, on 2007-05-25, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Fri, 25 May 2007, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:


>> >   <p>If a <code>dl</code> element contains only <code>dd</code>
>> >   elements, then it consists of one group with values but no names,
>> >   and the document is non-conforming.</p>
>> >
>> > Should that be shown in the cut down "author" version?
>> Yes. Everything that tells authors how to ensure conformity should be
>> presented to them. I think it's mainly the stuff that tells UAs how to
>> handle non-conforming documents that authors generally don't need.
> But the second line quoted above is a UA thing. It's nothing to do with
> authors. So it's not clear to me that it is as simple as you say.

While authors may not understand that second line, they would easily
understand the sentence as a whole to be saying that a dl containing only dds
is non-conforming.

However, looking at
I now see the context. The paragraph you cited is preceded by:

Content model:
Zero or more groups each consisting of one or more dt elements followed by
one or mode dd elements.

I'd say that is all that authors need. The paragraph you cited adds nothing
useful to it, from an author's perspective. In fact, all the four paragraphs
at the end of that section, between the examples and the note, can be
considered of no importance to authors. The rest of the section is.


> It's something that's on the cards. However, it's not a priority, at least
> not for me. There are several "meta" things I'd like to do to the spec
> (like have the sections be labelled for how stable they are, have the spec
> link to test cases, have the spec say what's implemented) before I start
> looking at paragraph-level annotations.

Well, I can only give you my opinion :) which is that if authors have a
reliable way to ignore UA-specific stuff, it will make it much easier for
them to review the spec. That can only result in higher quality contributions
from authors, which can only benefit the spec.

The longer you wait, the later that feedback will come, by which time it may
be more difficult to handle it.

And yes, those other things you want to do are useful too :) and you can't do
everything at the same time. I sympathise. I'm in a similar boat trying to
get the WRI off the ground. But consider that it takes authors time too, to
review the spec and be able to contribute to it -- I'm sure most of them
don't get paid for it, so they're doing it on their own free time. A reliable
method to hide UA-specific stuff would allow them to donate their free time
more effectively. The same probably applies to accessibility experts and
authoring tool developers, two groups that it has been said we need more
feedback from.

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>

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