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Re: declarative expressons in WF2

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 18:24:08 +0100
Message-ID: <460801B8.8020302@cam.ac.uk>
To: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer <sebastian@dreamlab.net>, public-html@w3.org

Dave Raggett wrote:
> On Mon, 26 Mar 2007, James Graham wrote:
>> Ignoring the issue of whether a declarative syntax actually delivers 
>> on the claimed ease of use, I don't understand how is this target 
>> population of authors is supposed to develop the server-side component 
>> of their web-app? They could, of course, get a third party to 
>> implement that, but then why not also have that third party develop 
>> the client-side? I feel like I must be missing something trivial 
>> because my interpretation is that the proposal is aimed at a user base 
>> that does not exist.
> 
> The authoring tool is provided by a third party and includes support for 
> both client and server side resources, covering a range of use cases.

So I still don't understand. Myabe you need to point me at an example of the 
type of tool you have in mind so I can understand how it is expected to work. If 
our tool is implementing the server-side logic based on some sort of non-script 
user input, presumably it is generating script to run on the server. Therefore 
working hard to removing script from the HTML is not, in itself, very useful; it 
optimizes a tiny part of the overall application.

> The use of declarative representations allows the authoring tool to 
> recover the original context when the editor next loads the document. If 
> the application is largely defined in JavaScript, the editor won't be 
> able to map that back to something simpler for the non-techie author. 

This all applies to the server-side logic as well. In my vision of how such an 
application would work, HTML would, indeed, not be the editing format; the 
editing format would be something convenient for the application authors to save 
whatever state they need  for the particular functions their application 
provides (something we cannot hope to predict and should not try to cater for). 
The application would also have a "compile for web" function that would take the 
application-specific format and generate a combination of client-side and 
server-side code to implement the application.

> Authoring tools can make use of proprietary solutions for recording 
> declarative info, but this locks the author into that tool. Open 
> standards for declarative representations avoid that lock in, creating a 
> level playing field.

Of course this is an issue. But, as far as I can tell, your proposal only 
addresses a very very limited subset of the problem that would actually need to 
be solved.

-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Monday, 26 March 2007 17:24:29 GMT

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