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HTML5 Rationale document

by Eitan Adler in Syntax, WHATWG

I've started a page on the wiki to document the rationale for the decisions made about the HTML specification.

There are two goals for this document:

  1. Explain why things are the way they are
  2. Explain the difference between multiple similar elements by providing example usages.

One person can not possibly write the entire thing so I hope that this becomes a group process where anyone interested can contribute so go sign up, log in, and edit.

5 Responses to “HTML5 Rationale document”

  1. drclue says:

    Pretty large place , and I did not see where to post this thought , so that is why
    it is here and not someplace better.

    There is a something I would like to see out of the SQL database thing that
    as of yet I have seen no discussion for and that I think would have some great
    value both by itself and as a part of promoting standards.

    What I would like is a built in mechanism that will return or convert the SQL result sets as/to XML.

    I’m a big fan of XSL and it sorta puzzled me that the SQL gizmo did not afford
    a direct path to XML. Almost all of my database (and other) widgets server side
    produce a dual (selectable) XML/JSONized XML output which when used with XSL
    does a great job in promoting MVC in the coding.

    Just a thought.

  2. Ben Millard says:

    In July 2007 I started a Rationales Gathering page on the W3C Wiki. It was to act as a hub from which other researchers and interested persons could find out the “why” behind every decision in HTML5′s developed.

    It’s a tool to gather rationales, rather than a catalogue of them. So you may find it useful. Looks like it was only edited slightly since then.

    This information architecture set out on the ESW wiki seemed like it would scale better than the alternatives. In particular, clumping loads of disparate research onto one page isn’t going to work. Some sort of Category:rationals listing on which numerous specific pages are automatically listed could work wonderfully, though.

    Also seems a bit inefficient to repeat work which was already being undertaken on the ESW wiki. Avoid duplication of effort?

    Specific rationales were going to be put on the specific W3C wiki page for each issue. The issue tracker was to link to relevant wiki pages. Not sure how much of that actually got done but a couple of people were trying; I was just helping push the ball along a bit.

    It’s quite a meta task. So even harder to get the funding to sustain it, I suppose? Anyway, best of luck in your efforts to do this. There seems to be a lot of chatter about this subject. Clear, accurate answers would at least ensure everyone arguing about it have the right facts. :)

  3. Eitan Adler says:

    @Ben Millard
    I did not know about that page. My impetuous for this page was a listing on the “What you could do” page on the wiki listing a need for this type of thing. I’ll work on merging the two pages. I agree that having some sort of category:rationale page would probably be a good idea. However it isn’t worthwhile to have a category until enough data is available. I’d like to see people contribute information, and when the page gets large enough I’d reorganize it.

  4. This should really be merged into the differences between HTML4 and 5 document at the W3C. I’ve discussed the reasons why in this thread:

    See this thread http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-comments/2010Jun/0024.html

  5. Thanks, really interesting article, but wrote on difficult English.

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