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Re: Comments on HTML WG face to face meetings in France Oct 08

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 08:13:33 -0800
Message-ID: <4922E9AD.90003@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> (Of course, many of the conformance criteria relevant to mainstream 
> browsers won't apply to other kinds of software. Fortunately, HTML5 
> defines a number of conformance classes: 
> <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#conformance-requirements>. The classes 
> "data mining tool" and "markup generator" cover between them any tool 
> that takes HTML as input or output, and are free of browser-specific 
> concerns.)

Sadly this isn't true. For instance, in data mining, "Applications and 
tools that process HTML and XHTML documents for reasons other than to 
either render the documents or check them for conformance should act in 
accordance to the semantics of the documents that they process."

This statement indicates an underlying belief that semantics are 
interoperable and that a document can in fact be said to have a 
particular set of semantics which can be shared and transferred between 
independent parties.

Of course, I expect most data mining tools to more or less ignore this 
statement and infer whatever set of semantics they need from the syntax.

-- 
Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321503635/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 16:14:11 GMT

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