A couple of interesting snippets from an interesting interview
Kevin Yank: [It’s] continually surprising to me just how capable a
language it is, given where it came from. I mean, one day in the 1990s,
Netscape said, “We need a little language to run in our browser.” And
today. How did Netscape end up with it as a language, answering that
need at the time?
Douglas Crockford (Yahoo): They were really lucky. Given the process
that created the language, we should have gotten something much, much
worse, because they didn’t do a careful design of requirements. They
certainly didn’t give enough time for its design or its implementation.
They took a prototype, which was intended just as a proof of concept,
and that’s what they shipped. And it had all the problems that you would
expect such an implementation to have. And it was partly on the basis of
that implementation that the language got the terrible reputation that
it had. And a lot of those defects are still in the language.
Problematic history of CSS:
Douglas Crockford: [In] the last few years web standards—at least for
the last ten years—web standards have lost focus. They've been more
about invention than about codification, and I think that is unhealthy.
At best it's been unproductive, and at worst we've seen bad standards
come out of that.
For example, CSS2 was un-implementable, and eventually it had to be
revised as CSS2.1—an attempt to cut CSS2 down to what people were able
to figure out how to implement. That sequence was totally backwards—or
it started backwards, but eventually they got it right. Let's look at
what can actually work and make a standard out of that, and then let
everybody catch up with each other. I think that's a proper role for
What I see happening now with HTML5 is appalling. There is some stuff
there that I really like: I really like that they figured out what the
rules of HTML <http://www.sitepoint.com/glossary.php?q=H#term_75>
parsing are. Brilliant. That's long overdue. And you can look at any
individual feature that they're doing and say, “Yeah, that makes sense.”
But there’s just too much, and there’s not a good set of trade-offs,
there’s not a complexity budget. It’s not motivated by real need, but by
what’s shiny in front of a committee.
All the best, Grant
Dr Grant Paton-Simpson
Director, Paton-Simpson & Associates Ltd
16 Summit Drive, Mt Albert, Auckland 1025
NZ PHP Users Group: http://groups.google.com/group/nzphpug
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