[whatwg] Article: Growing pains afflict HTML5 standardization

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Mon Jul 12 08:41:36 PDT 2010

On 12.07.2010 16:43, Mike Wilcox wrote:
> On Jul 12, 2010, at 8:39 AM, Nils Dagsson Moskopp wrote:
>>> That's a little different. Google purposely uses unstandardized,
>>> incorrect HTML in ways that still render in a browser in order to
>>> make it more difficult for screen scrapers. They also "break it" in a
>>> different way every week.
>> Assuming this is true (which I find difficult to believe), wouldn't a
>> screen scraper based on the HTML5 parsing algorithm defeat this
>> purpose ?
> Honestly, I don't know. But W3 defaulted to an HTML5 validator:
> http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fsearch%3Fsource%3Dig%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D%26%3D%26q%3Dhtml5%26aq%3Df%26aqi%3D%26aql%3D%26oq%3D%26gs_rfai%3D&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0
> <http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fsearch%3Fsource%3Dig%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D%26%3D%26q%3Dhtml5%26aq%3Df%26aqi%3D%26aql%3D%26oq%3D%26gs_rfai%3D&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0>

True, but a parser conforming to the spec (*) would handle those errors, 
so in this case obfuscation wouldn't work. Essentially, any code using 
that parser would see the same information as an off-the-shelf web browser.

> ...
> Besides the protecting of their API, Google also will scratch and claw
> to save every byte. They are the gold standard of a high performance

Understood. There's an ongoing controversy whether it makes sense to 
make things like these invalid (just stating, not offering an opinion).

> website. While this may or may not explain the things that don't
> validate, what it does say is that nothing coming from google.com
> <http://google.com> is accidental.
> ...

I believe some time ago a certain Google employee actually *did* state 
that some of the conformance problems were unintentional. (yes, I did 
spend a few minutes finding that statement but wasn't successful).

Best regards, Julian

(*) Implementing error recovery, which IMHO isn't required.

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