Thoughts on “Notes from the future of HTML session at TPAC”

Stinkin’ thinkin’ on HTML @w3c (AKA what i would be saying at #TPAC2015 if I was there)

HTML is being discussed, again, at W3C.

HTML5 was published as a recommendation at W3C a year ago. One of the tasks it was talked about at the time was maintaining HTML5 the Rec, so at least it didn’t include silly errors like typo’s. AFAIK, no typo’s have been fixed. Nobody at W3C could agree on an errata process…

The only editor at the party


Why maintain?

My reasons

Fuzzy stuff

The cream

main argument

A suggestion for the future of HTML at W3C

  1. UA implementation details and requirements
  2. Conformance checker implementation details and requirements
  3. Feature definitions, details, authoring conformance requirements, examples, advice

The HTML W3C specification content is derived from the WHATWG HTML spec for 90% (ballpark) of 1 & 2 the divergences are minor (but still in some cases considered important) and in many cases due to error not conscious decisions of the W3C.

For 3, the divergences are both more pronounced and mostly willful, due to disagreements between the WHATWG editors and contributors and the W3C WG members and editors about the semantics, conformance requirements and advice for use of HTML.

I make some assumptions:

For IP purposes the importantant content in the HTML spec is the UA implementation definition of features and this is a primary driver for continued publication of a copy of whatwg HTML at the W3C.

For authoring purposes, the important content is 3 and it is a primary driver for continued publication of an actively edited HTML at the W3C, but is not a reason to continue copying these aspects of the content from the WHATWG (and then modifying it where there are differences.)

The proposal:

Continue to publish a ‘living’ delta of the WHATWG spec consisting of the UA requirements which will satisfy the IP requirements. This delta will be an exact and up to date copy of the WHATWG spec.

For the rest of the content, fork the current HTML 5.1 spec (which includes both W3C and WHATWG content) and then cease to update from the WHATWG spec.

HTML at W3C will then reference the the delta for UA requirements, but the rest of the content will be solely edited at the W3C going forward. If there are UA/comformance checker requirements/features not present in the WHATWG delta or there are divergent requirements, the W3C HTML specification can reference other relevant specs.

Written by

Accessibility/HTML worker — medium: a thought spitoon

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