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Re: Cleaning House

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 17:31:33 -0400
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070503212619.M32046@hicom.net>

in response to my assertion, quote
either you are for seperation of structure from presentation, or 
you are not
unquote

Boris Zbarsky replied, quote:
Yes, yes.  Either I'm with you or I'm against you.  I've heard that a 
lot in recent years; never though it'd come up in a reasonable 
discussion about the future of web standards. 
unquote

it has NOTHING to do with you or me or any one individual; it is a 
simple statement of fact and a basic premise of interoperability, 
internationalization, accessibility and useability.  why is it not 
quote reasonable unquote?

Boris also wrote, quote:
Because XSLT can't operate on things that are not well-formed XML? 
That would be most of the web, last I checked.
unquote

since when is pandering to poor authoring practices part of our 
mandate?  we are supposed to be defining a canonical structural 
language, not giving authors and developers of authoring tools 
shortcuts and workarounds that mix presentation and structured 
content...

Boris also wrote, quote:
Quite frankly, I'm rather uninterested in the document conformance 
end of things for the time being.  I'm keenly interested in the 
user-agent conformance end of things. 
unquote

that is your perogative; i personally am concerned with both document
and user agent conformance so that there is a baseline from which 
authors can construct web documents, authoring tools can implement 
the production of structured content (refer to the Authoring Tool 
Accessibility Guidelines, which, as a W3C Technical Recommendation, 
are a normative reference for HTML5:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/REC-ATAG10-20000203/)


Boris further wrote, quote:
There's nothing more "semantic" about superscripts/subscripts than 
there is about italics.  For example, H<sup>1</sup> could have any 
of the following meanings off the top of my head just in 
mathematics: 

1)  A number (or matrix, or whatever) H raised to the power one. 
2)  First cohomology (group, vector space, etc). 
3)  First component of a vector in differential geometry. 
4)  A set of first-order expansions of elements of a set H (e.g. 
power series). 
5)  First graded component of the graded object H. 
unquote

your objection proves my point (as well as the larger point that 
most of the use cases you have outlined would be better served as 
MathML) -- there are at least 5 valid reasons why one would use 
superscript, and a host of others for using subscripts to indicate, 
for example, the atoms that comprise a molocule:

<abbr title="Carbon Dioxide">CO<sub>2</sub></abbr>

what, i ask you, does the use of italics mean semantically?  as i 
stated in another post, STRONG does not equate to B, nor EM to I; 
these are all presentational questions, which properly belong in 
the realm of styling, not structure.

gregory.
  ------------------------------------------------------------------
  BIGOT, n.  One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an 
  opinion that you do not entertain.               -- Ambrose Bierce
  ------------------------------------------------------------------
                Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
  Camera Obscura:           http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
  ------------------------------------------------------------------

---------- Original Message -----------
From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Sent: Thu, 03 May 2007 15:37:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Cleaning House

> Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> > why?  these presentational relics will be with us, always, in the 
> > name of backwards compatibility;  why not just map B to STRONG 
and 
> > I to EM?
> 
> Fine by me, for purposes of specifying the parsing.  Saying 
> that these equivalences hold (and hence that <b> is parsed 
> the same way <strong> is, which is specified in the spec)
>  would determine how <b> and <i> are to be parsed.
> 
> > why not leave the translation of B and I to an XSLT 
> > transformation?
> 
> Because XSLT can't operate on things that are not well-
> formed XML?  That would be most of the web, last I checked.
> 
> > either you are for seperation of structure from presentation, or 
> > you are not
> 
> Yes, yes.  Either I'm with you or I'm against you.  I've 
> heard that a lot in recent years; never though it'd come up 
> in a reasonable discussion about the future of web standards.
> 
> > HTML5 should NOT include any of the following 
> > presentational elements:
> 
> As part of document conformance or user-agent conformance?
> 
> Quite frankly, I'm rather uninterested in the document 
> conformance end of things for the time being.  I'm keenly 
> interested in the user-agent conformance end of things.
> 
> > one could make a strong case that subscript and superscript have 
no 
> > semantic meaning, but i don't think of them as presentational 
items, 
> > but, rather, as meaningful holdovers from traditional typographic 
> > conventions, and which are intended to mark the contained text in 
a 
> > very specific and defineable manner.
> 
> This part I don't buy.  There's nothing more "semantic" 
> about superscripts/subscripts than there is about italics. 
>  For example, H<sup>1</sup> could have any of the following 
> meanings off the top of my head just in mathematics:
> 
> 1)  A number (or matrix, or whatever) H raised to the power one.
> 2)  First cohomology (group, vector space, etc).
> 3)  First component of a vector in differential geometry.
> 4)  A set of first-order expansions of elements of a set H 
> (e.g. power series). 5)  First graded component of the 
> graded object H.
> 
> There are probably plenty more, especially if you vary the 
> letter and/or number.
> 
> Same for subscripts.
> 
> -Boris
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 21:31:53 GMT

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