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Re: Requirements for research (Was: Dropping <input usemap="">)

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 14:58:17 +0100
Message-ID: <46C457F9.4030207@cam.ac.uk>
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
CC: Geoffrey Sneddon <foolistbar@googlemail.com>, public-html@w3.org

Robert Burns wrote:
> 
> On Aug 16, 2007, at 8:31 AM, James Graham wrote:
> 
>>
>>> On 16 Aug 2007, at 04:40, Robert Burns wrote:
>>
>> [...]
>>
>>  From a scientific perspective, saying I searched a
>>>> cache that I have, that you can't search and I won't even show you 
>>>> the code that produces that cache , would be the same as me saying 
>>>> the following. "I have this 8-ball and when I ask it if we should 
>>>> drop @usamap from |input| it tells me 'not likely'. You may say that 
>>>> sure, 8-balls say that But the odd part is that it says that every 
>>>> time [cue eerie music]." :-) The point though is that it can't be 
>>>> reproducible at all if its all based on hidden data and methods.
>>
>> It's neither based on hidden data nor a hidden method. The data is all 
>> publicly accessible webpages. The methodology is a) spider the 
>> webpages, b) run the parsing algorithms in the html 5 spec over the 
>> resulting files c) extract whatever data is of interest. That seems 
>> in-principle pretty straight forward to me and at-least as 
>> reproducible as many peer reviewed scientific studies. Indeed Phillip 
>> Taylor has already managed to reproduce the procedure on a smaller 
>> dataset and thus independently verified many of Hixie's results.
> 
> Which results are you referring to here. Ian looked for misused <input 
> usemap> elements. Philip looked for <blink> and <element-I just-mad-up> 
> on another data set.  The couldn't reproduce the same results because 
> they were looking for different things.

I meant, more generally, that the two different surveys they did have produced 
similar results for questions like "what fraction of pages use the <foo> 
element?" rather than questions specifically related to <input usemap>. IIRC 
Phillip didn't find any use of <input usemap> (which you would predict from the 
  the small usage found by Hixie and the relative number of pages in the two 
surveys).

-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Thursday, 16 August 2007 13:58:39 GMT

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