[whatwg] Removing versioning from HTML
ian at hixie.ch
Mon Aug 24 17:36:51 PDT 2009
On Fri, 14 Aug 2009, João Eiras wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Aug 2009 12:01:31 +0100, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> > On Sun, 9 Aug 2009, Aaron Boodman wrote:
> > >
> > > I frequently see the comment on this list and in other forums that
> > > something is "too late" for HTML5, and therefore discussion should
> > > be deferred.
> > >
> > > I would like to propose that we get rid of the concepts of
> > > "versions" altogether from HTML. In reality, nobody supports all of
> > > HTML5. Each vendor supports a slightly different subset of the spec,
> > > along with some features that are outside the spec.
> > >
> > > This seems OK to me. Instead of insisting that a particular version
> > > of HTML is a monolithic unit that must be implemented in its
> > > entirety, we could have each feature (or logical group of features)
> > > spun off into its own small spec. We're already doing this a bit
> > > with things like Web Workers, but I don't see why we don't just do
> > > it for everything.
> > >
> > > Just as they do now, vendors would decide at the end of the day
> > > which features they would implement and which they would not. But we
> > > should never have to say that "the spec is too big". If somebody is
> > > interested in exploring an idea, they should be able to just start
> > > doing that.
> > I agree in principle.
> I wholeheartedly agree with all the reasoning, but there are issues.
> From an implementor's point of view it is much harder to implement and
> keep up with a mutating specification. During implementation a stable
> spec is preferred.
The parts of the spec you would be implementing would still be stable,
it's just that other parts of it would evolve.
> Currently, because specs are being edited and might take a while to get
> to CR, we have different implementors implement different parts of the
> specifications, and then meanwhile the specification mutates and
> implementors have to waste time updating their implementation which
> could have been right from the start. I understand that implementation
> feedback is necessary, but this is not very optimal.
We have to keep the spec from running away from implementations anyway,
whether we have a stable snapshot model or a continually evolving model.
> After a spec gets to CR it can't just mutate out of thin air, hence
> forking it into a new version is the way to go.
> Example: Gecko, Webkit and IE have localStorage, but the spec changed a
> few days ago to allow structured storage.
If we do snapshots, it just means the implementors are working on an
obsolete version of the spec, which is worse.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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