[whatwg] <param> second example

Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at xn--mlform-iua.no
Sun Jun 27 07:48:03 PDT 2010

In www-archive@ you sasked Sam for a technical reason to remove the 
second example [=]:

>> either apply Lachlan's change in a way that does not cause the documents 
to diverge
> If you want a change to the WHATWG version of the specifications, please 
> provide rationale that argues for that change. So far the only rationale 
> you have provided convincingly argues for keeping both examples. Unless 
> informed otherwise by the WHATWG charter members, I will assume that in 
> the absence of a good technical reason, the example should remain in the 
> WHATWG specifications.

As a HTMLWG member, I cannot ask you to change an example that isn't in 
the HTMLWG spec. Hence I joined WHATWG mailing list in order to suggest 
some technical reasons why the second example should be removed or 

First, I struggle to understand the justification for the second 
example. But it could seem as if the technical reason is to "mention 
proprietariness" [#]: 

> Lachlan's rationale is not the real rationale for the change: it argues 
> for what the WHATWG spec says (have two examples), not what the HTMLWG 
> spec says (not mention proprietariness).

Lachlan's rationale, in contrast, was that your example did not 
demonstrate best practice[&]: "The ideal fallback should instead 
provide some kind of alternative content." So my working theory is that 
demonstration of "proprietariness" is the reason why you have the 
second example. And it might be that you consider your example a good 
an honest fallback text whenever proprietary plug-ins are used - who 
knows - there absolutely nothing in the WHATWG spec which explains why 
the WHATWG spec has the second example. 

My technical argument for why you should not have the second example is 
that it demonstrates the exact same thing as the first example 

Namely, both of them demonstrate how a plug-in is required in order to 
view _plug-in specific_ content. Another use of plug-ins - irrespective 
of whether the plug-in is proprietary or not - is to use them for 
displaying _standards compatible content_ which the user agent is 
lacking support for. E.g. think of the plug-ins for viewing MathML and 
SVG that exist. Hey, there are even Flash players (Google's SVGweb) for 
playing SVG, as well as different Microsoft VML solutions for playing 
SVG (such as AmpleSDK) in Internet Explorer. If/When Flash starts to 
support it, then one can also use the Flash plug-in for playing  the 
WebM format.

So, in conclusion, even the open source plugin (the first example) 
demonstrates "proprietariness", if we define "proprietariness" as 
"requiring a plug-in in order to view plug-in specific content". And 
that is why you should remove the second example, or provide an example 
that demonstrates a real difference.

[=] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010Jun/0066
[#] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010Jun/0066
[&] http://www.w3.org/mid/4BC5C6A5.9090204@lachy.id.au
leif halvard silli

More information about the whatwg mailing list