[whatwg] The src-N proposal

James Graham james at hoppipolla.co.uk
Mon Nov 18 02:40:36 PST 2013

On 18/11/13 03:25, Daniel Cheng wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:19 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Sun, Nov 17, 2013 at 5:16 AM, Ryosuke Niwa <rniwa at apple.com> wrote:
>>> Without starting a debate on what semantics or aesthetics mean, syntax
>> is a big deal.  A bad syntax can totally kill a feature.
>> Believe me, I agree; I named my last coding project "Bikeshed", after all.
>> ^_^
>> This is why I find it puzzling that a syntax accepted by the RICG and
>> a lot of authors is being shot down by a few implementors.  This is
>> why I've been classifying the objections as "personal aesthetic
>> concerns" - I don't know how to classify them otherwise.  The proposed
>> syntax doesn't seem to offend average authors, who grasp it well
>> enough (it's a pretty simple translation from what they already liked
>> in <picture>).  It just offends a few of you from WebKit, some of whom
>> have been a bit hyperbolic in expressing their dislike.
>> ~TJ
> ​I think it's worth pointing out that there are some ​Chromium/Blink
> developers that don't like the multiple attribute syntax either (for what
> it's worth, I am one of them).

Yeah, I think this characterization of the debate as "Apple vs the 
World" is inaccurate an unhelpful. I think that the src-N proposal is 
very ugly indeed. This ugliness creates real issues e.g. if I have 
src-1, src-2 [...] and I decide I want a rule that is consulted between 
src-1 and src-2, I need to rewrite all my attribute names. Whilst this 
might produce a pleasant rush of nostalgia for children of the 80s 
brought up on 8-bit Basic, for everyone else it seems like an 
error-prone drag.

So I think the question is not "is this proposal unpleasant"; it is. The 
question is "is this less unpleasant than the alternatives". That is 
much less clear cut, and there is room for reasonable people to disagree.

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