W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-xml@w3.org > October 2011

Re: Friction and cross pollination

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2011 13:34:48 +0200
Cc: public-html-xml@w3.org
Message-Id: <465EB6CB-CE49-4B9D-9C3D-6960306B83DD@berjon.com>
To: Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
On Sep 27, 2011, at 15:57 , Norman Walsh wrote:
> Robin, would you be willing to try to draft a few paragraphs that you
> think cover the topic? We can talk about that and, if we reach
> consensus, figure out how to put it in the document.

Here goes. As always: comments, tweaks, screams, etc. welcome!

This Task Force believes that while complete alignment between the HTML and XML families may not be achievable or indeed desirable there are nevertheless areas in which cross-pollination between those two stacks could help improve either or both. Now that the delineation of these techonologies' respective domains have stabilised it would be more foolish than ever that these communities behave as warring factions while closed, proprietary formats still abound. Despite the important design differences that exist between HTML and XML their goals are not as divided as our mailing lists suggest, and one can still share experience regarding the production of round wheels irrespective of the rail track gauge.

A suggested list of such smaller projects, which may or may not proliferate best in a standards setting, could for instance include:

     Defining an XSLT and XQuery serialisation for polyglot HTML. Usage: make it trivial to produce it with a regular XML tool chain. [ed. I thought that this had been done, but I can't seem to find it anywhere]

     Help define an improved, more interoperable, and more usable version of DOM level 3 XPath for use from Javascript inside an HTML document. Usage: a number of queries (e.g. for text nodes, or certain axes) are impossible to achieve with the Selectors API, but using DOM level 3 XPath is unwieldy at best.

     CSS Fragment IDs based on XPointer as described in http://simonstl.com/articles/cssFragID.html. Usage: links that target fragments more powerfully, in a manner that browsers understand (http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/emphasis-update-and-source/ is a good example).

     A Javascript and/or CSS based transformation and templating language that would reuse the best of XSLT (notably its processing model) and apply equally to HTML or JSON. One potential starting point may be http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-STTS3. Usage: Javascript templating libraries are proliferating like rabbits but they tend to be limited to simple variable interpolation. Support for more powerful HTML production pipelines would benefit from a more powerful approach.

     [ed. please don't shoot me] Making sure that one can fully render XSL FO using nothing but Javascript and CSS, as done with pdf.js (http://andreasgal.com/2011/06/15/pdf-js/). Usage: FO is nicer to produce than PDF.

     Despite its name, EXI is a compression technology that is designed to apply to any tree. Investigating whether it can be applied to HTML or JSON could yield sizeable gains. Usage: performance is increasingly a concern in the HTML family. Enabling faster serving in general, and supporting lighter-weight devices without the need for an intermediate proprietary acceleration proxy would improve the ecosystem.

     Collaborating in the ongoing work on a Web component model to ensure that it applies across the board. Usage: open a door that actually works on distributed extensibility.


Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Tuesday, 4 October 2011 11:35:11 UTC

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