[whatwg] Fwd: Entity parsing

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jul 30 15:36:33 PDT 2009

On Sat, 18 Jul 2009, Øistein E. Andersen wrote:
> Non-semicolon-terminated entities that were conforming in HTML4, like 
> &pi and &mdash when they are not followed by a letter or digit (roughly 
> speaking), are currently expanded in Safari and Firefox, and requiring 
> this to change would be a regression affecting existing pages.
> > As far as I can tell HTML5 more or less matches what legacy pages 
> > need,
> You keep repeating this, and also that much work has been done to get 
> entity parsing right and that you really do not want to change it.  It 
> seems to me that you have tried to follow IE's behaviour closely, which 
> is not completely unreasonable.  I have not seen evidence of any 
> analysis of legacy pages supporting this decision, though; on the 
> contrary, more or less anecdotal evidence sent to the mailing list(s) 
> seems to suggest that certain modifications might make the algorithm 
> work better for legacy pages. Replicating IE may well be good enough and 
> seems like a reasonably safe option, but HTML5 does not completely 
> follow IE in other areas, and I do not quite see why entity parsing 
> should be treated differently.

It's certainly the case that we can find individual pages that depend on 
particular behaviours to support any argument.

I do not want to change the current parsing spec unless we have _very_ 
good reasons to do so, because there are now multiple implementations
and tests, and any change can introduce bugs and incompatibilities.

If you have strong data showing that a particular change to the spec would 
be highly beneficial, then it's something I'd be happy to consider. But 
I'm not willing to make changes just to change the spec from being 
compatible with IE to being compatible with WebKit, or some such. I need 
data showing that the change is needed.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

More information about the whatwg mailing list