Web Devout tidings

Self-contradictions in the HTML WG

HTML 5 will include the embed element, font element, and other elements which could easily be replaced using better and well-supported features. Ian Hickson wants them included anyway.

HTML 5 will not include the headers attribute for tables, which was designed to aid accessibility. Ian’s reason for not including them? They can easily be replaced with another feature (the scope attribute).

Ian wants all of the bad practice features of HTML included in HTML 5 because they are widely used.

Ian doesn’t want the good practice headers attribute included even though it’s widely used.

Can someone please tell me what’s going on?

Update 2007-06-01: Here’s a relevant article from Juicy Studio: The HTML Scope/Headers Debate.

2 Responses to “Self-contradictions in the HTML WG”

  1. HÃ¥vard Pedersen Says:

    I honestly don’t understand what went wrong with HTML5, but it’s direction is definitely broken. It sort of looks like they’re going in the exact opposite wrong direction of what XHTML 2.0 did…

    Posted using Opera 9.21 on Linux.

  2. Ian Hickson Says:

    Nothing is set in stone yet. The proposal to have FONT is very much a proposal, a trial balloon. It’s not clear exactly what we should do to handle WYSIWYG editors; the FONT element proposal has not had much support and so we’ll probably change it.

    The headers=”" attribute might well be included, the problem right now is that it isn’t clear why it should be included. It’s not supported by most UAs (even in screen reader software, only some support it), it’s very rarely used, when it IS used it’s often used incorrectly, and in all but one case that I’ve seen (and I’ve studied a whole ton of cases) the scope=”" attribute, which is far simpler to use, could get exactly the same effect.

    The EMBED element is added because there was no way to unambiguously request the use of an external plugin (as opposed to OBJECT which handles plugins, images, frames, and so on, with no clear way to distinguish one from the other, and is poorly implemented on top of that). Since EMBED is already in very common use, and causes no harm, and since so many people are trying to work around the lack of EMBED in the standards with no really good reason to do so, it seemed more pragmatic to just define it.

    I think it is wrong to suggest that I want “all of the bad practice features of HTML included in HTML 5″. HTML5 goes to extreme lengths to avoid bad practice features.

    Anyway, you are encouraged to take part in the group, either at the W3C or the WHATWG. Take part! Contribute! Your input _is_ welcome and desired and _will_ be taken into account. (If you post proposals or criticism on the WHATWG list I’ll personally reply; if you post on the HTML list we have a process for grouping feedback which is then handled by the editors in due course — either way, your input is listened to.)

    Posted using Mozilla Firefox on Linux.