[whatwg] Proposal: <intent> tag for Web Intents API

Anne van Kesteren annevk at opera.com
Sat Dec 17 05:29:21 PST 2011

On Fri, 16 Dec 2011 20:35:22 +0100, Paul Kinlan <paulkinlan at google.com>  
> We didn't want to add additional attributes to the meta tag or link
> tag just for intents, this seems to open up the flood gates for future
> platform features to also extend the meta syntax, the meta element
> then just becomes a dumping ground.  If the answer when defining a new
> declarative standardized platform feature is to just arbitrarily add
> new attributes to the meta data element we will get to a point where
> either  we have attributes that are used in multiple contexts or use
> of basic attribute name spacing such as "intent-".

The answer is that when you want to add something new to the <head>  
element, it makes sense to consider using <meta> and <link>, and that  
adding attributes to them is not a big deal, because it rarely happens  
that we do so. In the close to eight years the WHATWG has been working on  
HTML, we have added one new attribute, to <link>.

Your argument is similar to why some people think HTML should have  
namespaces. And it does not make much sense. I mean, we could have a  
million elements in theory and we might need to disambiguate them if we  
do, but in practice HTML aims to address the common use cases and can  
therefore do with a relatively concise vocabulary. That also allows it to  
be widely implemented by many user agents in the same way.

> Looking at the spec[1] it appears there would still be a relatively
> large change to the html5 spec to accomodate these new attributes and
> conditional parsing guidelines.

There will be a relatively large change (larger, as it more complex) if we  
add a new element too.

> A new tag is simple, concise and encapsulates the features and
> requirements of the new platform feature and gives us scope to iterate
> for future versions without stepping on the toes of the other features
> that might use the meta tag.

You do not create a conflict by adding new attributes. That makes no sense.

> [1] http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-meta-elemen

Anne van Kesteren

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