[whatwg] Chipset support is a good argument

Kartikaya Gupta lists.whatwg at stakface.com
Sun Jul 5 22:06:21 PDT 2009

On Mon, 6 Jul 2009 04:06:25 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Mon, 6 Jul 2009, Kartikaya Gupta wrote:
> > 
> > Or do you think it is better to pick a side that has a good shot at 
> > winning, even if it means that some vendors may be non-compliant with 
> > the spec?
> I think it would be harmful to spec something that is actively different 
> than what a browser vendor will implement. This is why HTML5 started -- 
> because the W3C wrote specs that were idealistic and did not match 
> reality.

You've expressed something similar in a couple of the other threads as well, and I find it puzzling. It's true that if you spec things that will never be implemented, it harms the integrity of the spec. But on the other hand, if you allow any one vendor to determine what does or does not go into the spec [1], you're are exposing the spec to a much greater risk.

In at least one other thread [2] you've implied that you treat all browser vendors as equal. If you put this together with the veto power it means that any browser vendor, "regardless of size" can get things axed from the spec. Am I missing something? What is stopping me from becoming a browser vendor and stating flat-out that I will not support any of the new additions in HTML5 just to kill off a good chunk of the spec? (Since I am working on a browser currently playing catch-up, this would certainly make my life easier).

It seems to me that you need to either take away this veto power you've given browser vendors, or you need to draw a line between the vendors that do have veto power and the ones that don't. If you have already drawn such a line, I would like to know exactly where it is and what criteria were used to determine which vendors to allow and which ones to disallow.

One of the failings of HTML5, IMHO, is that it is trying to both document existing behavior and spec new features. These two activities should use different processes with regard to vendor consensus, but they are instead getting lumped together, and the new features are getting stifled as a result.


[1] http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-July/020722.html, your replies to Anne
[2] http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-July/020747.html

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