WHATWG "Bible5"

WHATWG to start work on “Bible5” Silicon Valley – June 2008 After their successful work on HTML5, CSS5, XML5, SVG5, and Web5, the WHATWG has announced that it has started work on a new version of the Bible, to be called “Bible5”. “Initially, one of the most obvious changes will be a change to the ten commandments”, said Ian Hickson, the group’s leader and idealog. “For instance we shall be changing ‘Thou shalt not kill’ to ‘Thou SHOULD not kill’ with the necessary reference to RFC 2119. Clearly after a couple of millenia experience with this spec, people have not been doing what the spec requires, and so we are merely updating it, modernizing it you might say, to reflect actual usage. I mean, what use is it having admonitions if most people are not going to follow them?” he asked, adding “That was a rhetorical question. I mean, what use is a spec that forbids things? It just makes it harder for people to be compliant.” “That was also rhetorical” he hastened to add. Alan van Finckelstein, one of the people who will be initially working on the spec, expanded: “One of the problems with the Bible is its incompleteness” she said. “Although it mentions a few sins that are forbidden, and a few that are apparently OK — incest in the case of Job’s daughters being one that immediately springs to mind — it leaves hundreds if not thousands of sins completely unspecified. We are currently using Google to search for and identify all currently known and practised sins, so we can include them in the permitted list.”

OPEN PROCESS “One of the differences with the WHAT WG doing this work instead of the closed and secretive Christians, is that we have a completely open process” Hickson added. “Anyone can, and indeed does, join in. We are currently asking the public to submit use cases of sins that they have committed in the past, or would like to commit in the future, so that we can add them to the spec.” “Speed is another advantage” chimed in Alan. “The Christians took 325 years to produce their spec, before declaring a Rec at the Council of Nicaea. Talk about slow! We think we can produce a new version in about two weeks” she said. “Of course, that will only be a working draft!” pointed out Hickson. “But we hope to go to CR within a couple of weeks after that. We are preparing the test suite at the moment. The spec will not go to Rec until we have recorded evidence that every single sin has been committed at least twice. Our current timeline shows that we anticipate staying in the CR phase for about 325 years. We may have to go back to Working Draft after that though.” “It need hardly be mentioned,” laughed Finckelstein “that the Bible never actually went through CR, which is just typical.” She went on “If it had, it would never have reached Recommendation stage. It is riddled with inconsistencies and errors, or things that have just not been defined. To take an example, when Moses comes down the mountain with the ten commandments and sees his people sinning, he loses his temper and smashes the marble tablets — apparently smashing up God’s property was not on the list of things thou shalt not do — and then initiates a killing spree of three thousand of his followers. So much for ‘Thou shalt not kill’!”. “Anyway,” concluded Hickson, “the big advantage of Bible5 will be that the number of sinners and criminals will be reduced at a stroke. Just imagine, the prisons will be emptied, and for the first time in history we will have a completely law abiding society!” WHAT’s next? Finckelstein: “Electrical wiring and plugs”, Hickson: “The rules of the road; airline safety; oh there’s so much we can improve”. ###


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