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Re: XHTML 2.0 and Semantics

From: Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 20:03:52 -0000
Message-ID: <03a701c2bc08$0f8b1a90$d9969dc3@Moomin>
To: <public-evangelist@w3.org>, "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>
Cc: <f8dy@diveintomark.org>

"Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>
> At 17:09 -0500 2003-01-13, ed nixon wrote:
> >Mr. Dubost, Why would you post this profanity riddled piece of
> >self-indulgence to a public mailing list?
>
> - About Mark
> No profanity at all. The role of W3C is to reach the consensus inside
> the WG. The comments of the public must be addressed and the W3C Team
> or people inside WG are not in an ivory tower.

Unfortunately though, the role of the W3C is as you say to reach consensus
within the Working Group, dissent from the public can be safely ignored (not
even addressing the issues) and there's nothing the public can do but rant,
the W3 Process does not have any responsibility to the public only to
members.  In theory the public can raise issues which have to be addressed,
but in reality these can be ignored without difficulty.  Engaging the public
is difficult of course, but the W3 has to take public issues seriously, and
needs a process to achieve this.  The current laissez-fair attitude to the
process document, means that there's little the public can do often but
Rant. *

> Evolution means that sometimes you have to drop features and
> sometimes you have to keep some. Not so many people know the process
> of W3C even if the document is widely accessible. And it's why I have
> invited Mark to send his comments to the list.

I think the problem Mark is having is assuming that XHTML 2.0 is appropriate
to his problem, a Mark-Up language is a tool not a religion, if the tool
isn't right, don't use it.  Personally I've not seen any better tool for web
document publishing since HTML 4.01 strict was released, the improvements
are not worth the compromises, nor do I see XHTML 1.0 an evolution of HTML,
or XHTML 2.0 an evolution of XHTML 1.1, yes they are tools aimed at similar
problems, and obviously share many features (a posidrive, and flathead
screwdriver share many features too, but only 1 is the right tool...)

XHTML 2.0 will also allow much richer mixing of namespaces, so for citing
other documents, other more complete namespaces can easily be used and may
be more sensible.  Instead of having the XHTML WG try and address every type
of document we might want to publish, we can leave more specific purposes to
experrs.  HTML has long suffered a problem where ABBR, and ACRONYM are
strangely defined, presumably due to confusion, and lack of experience in
the WG when they were developed.  Having XHTML provide a framework where we
can hang appropriate vocabularies is much more sensible than trying to have
XHTML experts design everything.

W3 Evangelism should be about getting people to use the right tool, in the
right way, not just using the latest trendy tool in a bad way.

Jim.

[*] This isn't directed at the XHTML WG specifically, I have no knowledge of
how well they respect w3 process and public comments.
Received on Tuesday, 14 January 2003 15:04:15 GMT

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