[whatwg] Make quoted attributes a conformance criterion

Eduard Pascual herenvardo at gmail.com
Mon Jul 27 03:24:28 PDT 2009

On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 2:53 AM, Jonas Sicking<jonas at sicking.cc> wrote:
> The more I think about it, the more I'm intrigued by Rob Sayres idea
> of completely removing the definition of what is "conforming". Let the
> spec define UA (or HTML consumer) behavior, and let lint tools fight
> out best practices for authoring.

Besides the point Maciej already made, there is another aspect in
favor of good conformance definitions: web evolution.

Some of the issues, like attribute quoting, may be stylistic, but
there are many where there is a clear boundary between what's right
and what's wrong. For example, <font> is clearly wrong; but there are
too many legacy webpages that use it; so browsers need to support it
to render all that content. If we leave "conformance" out of the spec,
and only define what browsers are supposed to do, we'd be bringing
<font> back to the web, even for new websites, and this would be
clearly wrong (we are not speaking of assistive technologies only, but
many pages that rely on <font> end up unreadable even in common

Someone could argue that this is just a matter of best practice or
style, and hence could be handled by lint tools; but conformance
criteria on the specification has a lot more strength than any lint
tool. While it may be ok to leave more arguable aspects to these
tools, things that are obviously wrong should be clearly defined as
non-conformant by the spec.

Just my two cents.

Eduard Pascual

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