[whatwg] Spec formats

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Sat Mar 20 10:48:52 PDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 10:40 AM, Perry Smith <pedzsan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm somewhat frustrated right now.  I hope this email is not too caustic.
> The page at http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/ causes my
> Firefox to freeze for a minute or more.  Eventually it recovers and it has
> all the pretty do-dads and things but it sure is painful to wait.  And, this
> may be a Firefox problem but every time I hit a link, it freezes again as it
> recomputes (I guess) all the pretty do-dads and things.  The pretty do-dads
> and things just are not worth it to me.  Maybe there is something I can turn
> off but not until after the first wait period.
> Second, I downloaded the PDF (the html-letter.pdf) and various tools (like
> Acrobat reader) complain when I try to reflow the document.
> Third, if I save the page above to my disk and open it with dreamweaver and
> try to make it in to an xhtml document, it dies.  The reason I'm trying to
> do that is some html to pdf converters insist upon xhtml format.
> My ultimate goal (which I have now determined is hopeless) is to put these
> documents on my "nook" so I can read them.  Putting the html-letter pdf on
> my nook "works" but has many UI issues.  I thought if I could redo the
> formatting somehow it might be nicer.  Which leads to my final question or
> request.
> Can the original source of this, whatever it is stored in, be posted as
> well?  There is a comment somewhere that says the W3 version and the whatwg
> version comes from the same source.  It might allow energetic folks to offer
> other formats of the books such as in epub format or some other eReader
> style format.

The HTML5 spec serves, in addition to its role as a spec document, the
additional role of a UA stress test.  It is a massive document with
several scripts running over it on load.  Some browsers and systems
can handle it.  None of the browsers on my computer can do it well
(I'm using a laptop from 2003, though, so my hardware is definitely

To accommodate people like you and me, we have a multi-page version of
the spec, where each page is much smaller and more easily handleable.
You can reach it at whatwg.org/html5.

Another thing that might help you is to turn off the the scripts
running on the full spec.  You can do that with some undocumented
query parameter, but I forget what it is.  This will turn off some
things like the commenting system and the implementation statuses, but
it will usually allow a modern browser to handle the full spec


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