[whatwg] Article: Growing pains afflict HTML5 standardization

Sam Ruby rubys at intertwingly.net
Mon Jul 12 09:03:43 PDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 11:41 AM, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:
> 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.

- Sam Ruby

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