This e-mail was originally archived at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject: Re: open-mindedness, objectiveness & anti-XHTML sentiments within the HTMLWG From: Ian Hickson
To: Dean Edridge Cc: email@example.com Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 18:52:58 +0000 (UTC) On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Dean Edridge wrote: > > Hello Ian, Hello! > > # <Hixie> wtf happened in public-html > > # # [19:46] <Hixie> we had weeks of nice constructive discussion and > > suddenly a massive thread about nothing > > That's just your opinion Ian. Just because a thread goes against what > you want, doesn't mean it is about nothing. It was, until Lachlan volunteered to edit a document, a thread talking theoretically about non-existant guidelines. That's nothing, insofar as it affects the Web. > Actually I think that this post especially, makes a constructive > argument. Whether you yourself agree with my ideas, they are in fact > positive and worth debating: > http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Nov/0323.html There are some members of the group, such as yourself, who want a limited allowed syntax that doesn't give much flexibility in how you express a DOM. I understand that. However, there are other members of the group who want to be able to use a different syntax. For example, as I noted in an e-mail to the group, there are some members who wish to be able to omit the ="" part of an attribute if its value is the empty string, or who wish to be able to omit the trailing / in void elements. Both of these desires are, IMHO, reasonable, and both have, IMHO, good reasons behind them. However, I can't make both groups happy, since the two syntaxes are mutually exclusive. The compromise solution is to make the HTML language allow both, and allow Web authors to add further constraints on themselves in the production process. For example, even if the spec allows you to omit the trailing / in void element tags, you can self-impose a requirement to include it. That way, you get to write documents how you want them, and the other group gets to write documents how _they_ want them. I don't see any other way to address the needs of both groups. > If you continue to promote a syntax like: > > <p class=intro>Readable Markup > > It will make it very difficult for people to ever write markup for > XHTML, SVG, MATHML etc. I don't personally want to promote it. However, there are groups within the wider Web authoring community who do desire that they can use such a syntax legally. I don't agree with the idea that just because HTML allows a particular set of syntaxes that Web authors will not be able to write documents that use other syntaxes. I think the fact that Web authors are able to write HTML, CSS, RDF, Atom, and other formats today is ample evidence to the contrary. > These other languages are in a fragile state and need promotion to keep > alive. I disagree with the premise of your statement (that those languages are dying), but even if it is true: languages should live or die on their own merits. We shouldn't bend HTML around to support languages that are not able to survive on their own. > By making it unnecessarily more difficult to use these other markup > languages you are essentially working towards the deprecation of them. Given the extreme support I have given SVG and MathML over the years (I sent hundreds of last call comments on SVG, I have written many SVG tests and performance benchmarks, I was the main QA contact for MathML in the Mozilla project for most of its development there, I have used SVG and MathML in my own personal projects for most of the past decade), I think it is ignorant to say that I am working to deprecate them. > # General concerns regarding (X)HTML5 > > I don't think that the working group and specification is being run in > an objective, democratic and non-biased manner. I encourage you to bring this up with our chairs, then. > For example: > > HTML5 Editor: Ian Hickson (Google) > HTML5 Editors assistant: David Hyatt (Apple) > HTML5 Design Principals co-editor: Anne van Kesteren (Opera software) > HTML5 Design Principals co-editor: Maciej Stachowiak (Apple) > HTML5 (not so democratic or balanced) author guidelines: Lachlan Hunt > (Opera software) All of the above are volunteers. If you want to make it less biased, then TAKE PART. The authoring guide is an example of this: there was no authoring guide until a week or two ago, when Lachlan decided to just go write one. Why didn't _you_ decide to write one? Why don't you decide to write one now? The group's work isn't being done by the browser vendors or people close to the browser vendors or people previously involved in the WHATWG due to any conspiracy to bias the group; the group's work is being done by those people because they are the only people who have gone ahead and volunteered their time and effort to actually DO something. _ANYONE_ could do something. (This is even more true in the WHATWG than in the HTMLWG: everything, from the maintenance of the blogs, forums, wiki, and mailing lists to the writing of the spec annotation software, the version tracking software, the tests, the implementations, the blog posts, the IRC logs,_everything_, is done by whoever wishes to volunteer. I have never turned anyone down if they were interested in doing something.) > HTMLWG staff contact: Mike Smith (ex Opera software) > HTMLWG co-chair: Dan Connolly (W3C) (Nice guy, but I don't know where he > stands in regards to the future of XHTML) > HTMLWG co-chair: Chris Wilson (Microsoft) (The man that put his name on > the first XHTML spec 8 years ago, then prevented over 6 Billion people > from being able to use it!) Those are W3C process issues, please raise them with the W3C, they're out of my hands. > And god only knows what will happen when I decide to place my views into > the HTML authors guidelines. I imagine they will be immediately erased > by one of your followers. My "followers" as you put it are self-aware, intelligent, independant individuals with their own views, their own opinions, and responsibility for their own actions. I don't take responsibility for their actions. If you wanted to be the editor of the authoring guide document, you could have volunteered to do it (and actually could have done it), just like Lachlan did. It's not like he was hand-picked, he picked himself. You could _still_ write your own authoring guide, and provide it as an alternative to the group, to be published either alongside, or instead of, Lachlan's guide. > All of these people are staff members of companies that are trying to > deprecate XHTML by making it as difficult as possible to adopt XHTML, > SVG, MATHML and other essential W3C technologies. Opera, Mozilla, and Apple would not have spent the huge number of resources over the last few years _implementing_ XHTML and SVG (and in Mozilla's case, and to a lesser extent, Opera's case, MathML) if they wanted to deprecate them. The HTML 5 specification wouldn't go to such lengths to support both HTML and XHTML if I wanted to deprecate XHTML. > The HTMLWG is becoming less and less democratic everyday. It has become > a dictatorship driven by three companies: Google, Apple and Opera. These > companies have there own interest at heart which may or may not be in > the best interest of the open web. Unless one happens to be an employee > (or a friend of an employee) of these companies, one doesn't seem to > have much say in the way that HTML5 and XHTML5 gets developed. I personally find this quite offensive given the extreme lengths I have gone to to take feedback from everyone in a fully inclusive way without considering who sent the input. Just look at the spec's acknowledgements list for a (hopefully) complete list of everyone who has said something that affected the spec's development. There are a large number of names there of people whose alignments don't follow Google, Apple, and Opera. I have in fact taken big risks editing the HTML5 spec while working for Google in not always doing things the way Google might want them, but instead sticking to what is best for everyone on the Web. It would be easy to sell out and do things like take Gears APIs and insert them wholesale into HTML5 without considering other feedback, but I have risked my career to make sure that input from everyone is taken into account, even if that means major costs are incurred by Google (and its Gears team) in rewriting existing code to the new spec. > I'm afraid to put forward my opinions to the public-html any more. If my > views don't match those of Googles, Apples or Operas. I doubt very much > that they will be added to the spec. I'm sorry that you are fearful of posting feedback. I assure you that I don't look at who sent the feedback before taking it into account, I only base the editing of the spec on the actual substantive content of the feedback. > If you believe that the future of the web is text/html (which you > obviously do), that's fine with me, just don't allow yourself and your > mates to prevent others from using XML on the web please. If there is anything in the HTML5 spec that prevents the use of XML, please do let me know. Again, I was under the impression that I had gone to extreme lengths to support both the text/html and XML serialisations of HTML, despite the realities of the Web (that so few people seem to want to use the XML serialisation). -- Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,. Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'