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Re: The Semantic Debate

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2007 10:12:09 -0600
Message-ID: <463F4FD9.3000109@w3.org>
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: 'Anne van Kesteren' <annevk@opera.com>, www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:
> ...  Using
> inflammatory language such as "ivory tower" (and earlier "zealots") only
> serves to prove a closed-minded approach on your behalf.


Your point about inflammatory language is well made; meanwhile...

 >  For large
> businesses, governments, academic intuitions, etc. who want or need to do
> better, we are arguing that the appropriate means does not exist, and/or
> that the suggested method (using reserved @class values) is wrong.

I haven't followed the whole @class/@role discussion here very
well, so at the risk of throwing in a total red herring...

I have been mostly over in the Semantic Web land, happily using
XHTML 1.x for the last few years, sort of ignoring the fact
that most people don't quote their attributes nor balance their
tags, and using tidy to make up the difference when necessary.

Then I went to a W3C security/phishing workshop this spring.
   http://www.w3.org/2005/Security/usability-ws/program

The FSTC had been working
for some months on best practices for financial web sites. Things
like: move the password field from the in-the-clear homepage to your
SSL login page. Only about 3 of the top 100 bank web sites followed
such best practices at the time.

One of the great things about the workshop is that it got the
banks and such talking with the browser folks directly about
phishing. At one point, one of the banking people asked a panel
of web browser folks, "what can we do to help?" and Charles M of Opera
answered, "You could give us a spec for the HTML you use."

That's what inspired me to start
the http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTMLAsSheAreSpoke wiki topic and
a lot of what motivates me to take on the challenge of chairing
this working group.

 > What *exactly* is wrong with providing a new means for Prescriptivism?
 > Surely this would be a "Good Thing", and a move forward?

It's all well and good to introduce new ideas, but *only* if
we can get a critical mass of the web using them.

Having yet another W3C HTML spec where if you code to it you don't
interoperate with the bulk of the web is... well... boring,
isn't it?

This seems like a big working group, and it takes a whole lot
of work to agree on anything, but convincing this working group
about a new HTML feature is a drop in the bucket of the cost
of actually getting that feature deployed on the web.


-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 7 May 2007 16:12:18 GMT

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