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Re: Decouple XBL2 From CSS

From: Antoine Quint <aq@fuchsia-design.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 22:35:56 +0200
Message-Id: <4F03D4D2-C93F-4044-BC95-75304BB2C491@fuchsia-design.com>
Cc: Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>, doug.schepers@vectoreal.com, public-appformats@w3.org
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

On 3 août 2006, at 22:09, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Thu, 3 Aug 2006, Antoine Quint wrote:
>> That's right. However, the selector is CSS3 Selectors only, if I  
>> follow
>> the reference in the current XBL2 draft. I think it would be great if
>> XPath selectors were also accepted for bindings, if only because  
>> XPath
>> is well understood by browsers out there today (well, at least  
>> WebKit,
>> Gecko-based browsers, Opera and Internet Explorer) and is a core XML
>> technology which XBL is poised to become too.
> Selectors are well understood by browsers, and are a core Web  
> technology
> too... why would XPath be a better solution than Selectors here?

I didn't say it is a better solution, but rather that XPath is  
already a proper W3C recommendation that happens to be well  
understood by Web browsers and that fitted the technical requirements  
of selecting nodes across a document to attach binding.

> The reason behind using Selectors is that that's what most authors  
> use.
> Selectors is far more mature than XPath; why would a relatively  
> untested
> technology like XPath be preferred over a well-known and widely  
> used one
> like Selectors?

What can I say? This kind of statement really shows that you're not  
as informed as you could be on the topic of XPath usage and maturity.  
And considering that CSS3 selectors are not a W3C recommendation, but  
just a WD, how can it be considered more mature? I'm sure there are  
lots of people using selectors as specified by CSS 2 or 2.1, but  
certainly not by a spec in WD.

I have nothing against Selectors per se, but I fail to see the  
technical rationale that should keep XPath on the side. Your bogus  
claims that XPath is a "relatively untested" and less mature  
technology (who else would back those claims on a public forum?)  
certainly fail to provide technical reasons.

> (Using both isn't an option because it would require twice as much  
> work
> for everyone involved with little or no practical benefit to authors.)

Web technologies such as XHTML, CSS, the DOM, SVG and soon XBL are  
not confined to usage for displays of Web pages, but are also heavily  
used for creating rich user interfaces in desktop and mobile  
applications. On my machine, my several IM/IRC clients are all using  
a Web languages rendering toolkit (WebKit), so do my RSS newsreader,  
code editor, etc., and these are just a few examples of how a lot of  
modern applications are developed.

The people behind these end user applications are not Web authors,  
but rather developers. And XBL itself is today most heavily used by  
Gecko developers. I wish all the success in the world to XBL on the  
Web, but we shouldn't forget that XBL is also very much geared  
advanced development techniques and I like to think that desktop/ 
mobile/Web application developers, like me, are looking for XPath  
support in XBL.

Antoine Quint — Fuchsia Design
SVG & Client-side XML Consulting
W3C SVG WG Invited Expert
Received on Thursday, 3 August 2006 20:36:14 UTC

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