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Re: [html5] proposal to add <text> element.

From: Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 16:24:36 +0000
Message-ID: <499841C4.6090705@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Andrew Fedoniouk <news@terrainformatica.com>
CC: public-html@w3.org
Returning from the digression (to the use of
HTML and RTF for e-mail) to Andrew's deeper
point :

Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:

> Having it in place will help to deal with the text in WYSIWYG editors 

Do you believe that "WYSIWYG editing" and "HTML"
are actually compatible concepts, rather than being
oxymoronic when juxtaposed ?  I do not.  HTML is
a language in which one expresses the structure
of a document : in order for that structure to
gain a physical realisation, it has to be rendered.
As the HTML specification (quite rightly) leaves
the /detail/ of the rendering unspecified (it reads,
in part [1], "User agents are not required present
HTML  documents in any particular way", any attempt to
edit HTML documents in a WYSIWYG manner is not only
doomed to failure but is actually a very dangerous
practice (in the sense that it may lead an author
to believe that he/she has control over the appearance
of the final rendered document).

In reality, the rendering of any given HTML document may
vary enormously from instantation to instantiation,
depending on the user's preferred window geometry, font,
base font size, style-sheet and so on, let alone the
issues of whether or not he/she elects to allow images
to be displayed and/or scripts to be executed.

If you want WYSIWYG editing, then I seriously suggest
that you should not be considering HTML at all, at
least in terms of what you eventually serve to your end-
reader; by all means use HTML and CSS as intermediates,
but then render the resulting code within a constrained
environment and serve the results using a page-description
language such as Adobe PDF.


[1] The full text reads "User agents are not required
present HTML documents in any particular way. However,
this section provides a set of suggestions for rendering
HTML documents that, if followed, are likely to lead to a
user experience that closely resembles the experience
intended by the documents' authors. So as to avoid confusion
regarding the normativity of this section, RFC2119 terms
have not been used. Instead, the term "expected" is used
to indicate behavior that will lead to this experience."
Received on Sunday, 15 February 2009 16:25:20 UTC

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