W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > December 2002

RE: Promotion of XHTML

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 23:20:21 -0700 (MST)
To: Chris Hubick <chris@hubick.com>
cc: W3C Evangelist <public-evangelist@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.44.0212302246010.7350-100000@measurement-factory.com>

On 30 Dec 2002, Chris Hubick wrote:

> The web was invented to separate structure and presentation, doing
> so is "right".

IIRC, the Web was invented to ease information sharing in the first
place. The structure versus presentation separation came in later and
is secondary.  Moreover, regardless of the original design goals, the
question is whether humans should be tought to write better markup OR
whether computers should be built to generate better markup (based on
inputs from a human-oriented interface).

> I would say mainly, yes, to the "easier solutions" being the major
> culprit.  As I said...people can easily get a web page which
> /appears/ to work for them and (or 95% of) their users without
> having to learn much.
>
> The designers I know don't take accessibility and browser neutrality
> to heart.  We need more Mac and Linux desktops, more WebTV's, more
> Mozilla browsers deployed, millions of handhelds with wireless web
> access, and every web designer needs a deaf or blind person as their
> boss.  These issues aren't "real" enough to most of them.  They
> think if the page works on their 15" monitor running Internet
> Explorer then all is well.

...

> I think it is the environment.  I think web authors need to be
> directly exposed to the vast array of user agents out there.  They
> need to be shown their sites on everything from PC's, Macs, Unix
> boxes, PDA's, Braille terminals, voice browsers, etc, etc, etc.

OK. It is technically trivial to show users how their pages look/sound
in all non-IE browsers. I am sure W3C can make that kind of service.
Of course, it would make no difference until there are enough
``non-IE'' users out there! So do we wait until there are more non-IE
users around, then?

Or is it possible to build tools that generate markup that works OK
for non-IE users based on a naive non-markup [FrontPage] user input?

In other words, who is responsible for content-versus-structure
separation and other good-design principles? Is it a grandma posting a
picture of a flower on the Web? Or is it the software that helps the
grandma to post that picture?

> People expect to be able to have control over things like fonts and
> sizes, positioning, etc.  They miss out on the fundamental fact that
> they web is TRYING TO TAKE THAT CONTROL AWAY, and they fight against
> it from start to finish.  Traditional media thinking, rather than
> web thinking.  Even people doing their first design in any medium
> have trouble really grokking these concepts - or they give up and
> forget about them when it get's down to the dirty details.

If the medium is so powerful, flexible, and complex, should not it be
the computer job to cross-compile user input so that it works well in
many environments?

Are we expecting the majority of Web designers to program in and be
excited about a Web-equivalent of an assembly language? Should we try
to learn from past mistakes and migrate to something more
human-oriented like a Web-equivalent of C++ or Java, leaving assembly
stage to the computer?

Alex.

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Received on Tuesday, 31 December 2002 01:20:23 GMT

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