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RE: declarative expressons in WF2

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 19:49:08 -0400
Message-ID: <1835D662B263BC4E864A7CFAB2FEEB3D258B95@msfexch01.srunet.sruad.edu>
To: "Dave Raggett" <dsr@w3.org>, "Anne van Kesteren" <annevk@opera.com>
Cc: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer" <sebastian@dreamlab.net>, <public-html@w3.org>

 
Sun 3/25/2007 at 3:16 PM Dave Raggett wrote:

>I think this is a critical question for the HTML working group. I am
>striving to provide a technically sound solution for extending WF2
>with declarative expressions, but if the working group isn't willing
>to consider this, I would like a decision earlier rather than later.

My sense is that if someone has a way of parsing an interesting subset of declarative programming (which is what I'm gather you do) then it would be a shame not to consider ways of making use of it. Declarative programming would appear to have great potential for non programmers to be able to make use of a nontrivial subset of conditional dependencies between objects and events. I am gradually coming to understand Anne van Kesteren's response to me on the WHATWG about SMIL being hard, and while I appreciate what Henri Sivonen says when he writes:
 
"I think it has not been established that 'the rest of the population' 
can do declarative programming when they can't do imperative. "
 
I very much think that declarative programming is much in the spirit of HTML in its early origins: "allow people to tell the machine what they want to say and let the machine figure out how to display it." If we can avoid halting problems and enable declarative programming constructs at the same time, I do think we'll have a better universe by 2010 when the draft becomes a reco. By then I'll bet we'll have some evidence that 'the rest of the population' really can do it. In the absence of widespread tools that enable it to be done hands on , it's a bit early to conclude that it won't help. Mabye there is some data on this somewhere, I don't know. Does the UN ever fund basic research?
 
In the meantime, is it possible to compromise and have some sort of conditional recommendation? "Subject to alleviating the following problems, the W3C recommends the following...."??
 
David Dailey
Received on Sunday, 25 March 2007 23:49:05 GMT

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