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Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 15:36:28 +0200
Message-Id: <p0624067fc2a6be045515@[192.168.0.102]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 13:04 +0900 UTC, on 2007-06-26, Karl Dubost wrote:

[...]

[<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#the-object>]

> I think we would have a lot better use of our times by writing the
> semantics definition of each element from the point of view of the
> author.
>
> For example, Sander, How would you write the HTML 5 object element as
> defined in the specification but for authors.

Quoting from the mail you're responding to:

> <quick hack>
> The object element can contain an image or a "nested browsing context"
> [whatever that is] for inline processing, or it an contain a file to be
> processed by a plug-in or helper application.
>
> The data attribute specifies the address of the file. If present [{frown
> }it's not required?], the attribute must be a URI (or IRI).
> </>

I'm well aware that saying "file" instead of "resource" isn't right. Maybe it
should in fact say "resource" and have that link to a clear explanation of
"resource" in a glossary.

As to "nested browsing context": I'd have to first understand what is meant
with that before I could suggest something that would be understandable to
more people.

The word "contain" isn't ideal. It's probably clear to most authors, but not
really the correct description for a spec that is to define UA behaviour.

To really write these sort of definitions such that they are not only
specific enough for UA spec purposes, but also understandable for document
authors takes a lot more than just quickly hacking some small portion of the
text. It's an extreme balancing act. I'm not even sure how well it can be
done; just that it needs to be done better. (No bad intentions meant towards
the current editors. You can't do everything, let alone do everything
perfect.)

More importantly, I don't think that rewriting individual bits here and there
to better serve authors can work, because you can't achieve consistent
writing that way. Achieving consistency requires that someone combs through
the entire spec, following specific writing rules. Certainly might be an
interesting day job :) but unless someone would want to hire me for that all
I can offer is the occasional criticism ;) and 'quick hack' and hope that is
at least useful. (Right now I have a holiday, which is why I can afford to
spend a bit more time on this -- at the cost of my private life ;))


-- 
Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 13:38:56 UTC

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