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Re: ISSUE-41/ACTION-97 decentralized-extensibility

From: Laurens Holst <laurens.nospam@grauw.nl>
Date: Thu, 01 Oct 2009 17:11:05 +0200
Message-ID: <4AC4C689.60609@grauw.nl>
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
CC: Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Tony Ross <tross@microsoft.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Op 1-10-2009 16:25, Aryeh Gregor schreef:
> 2009/10/1 Laurens Holst<laurens.nospam@grauw.nl>:
>    
>> Re. concerns that XML namespaces are too difficult for authors; what part of
>> HTML5 do you think is /simple/ for authors?
>>      
> Almost all of the important parts.

I think the parsing and syntax rules for HTML are horrendously 
complicated compared to XML.

Few times people have come to me asking about how to declare a 
namespace. Repeatedly people have come to my desk to ask why something 
didn’t work, and it turned out that the <p> tag got split up by the 
<div> inside it (that is a particularly nasty one), or part of their 
data wasn’t visible and it turned out one of the fields in their 
database contained an & without being followed by a space.

> Generally, if you read through a
> few simple tutorials, fiddle around a bit, and Google if you get
> stuck, you can produce mostly working (although probably totally
> invalid) HTML pages without having any idea what you're actually
> doing.  Which is good.  Authors shouldn't have to be expected to
> actually read specs to write a web page.

So you’re saying people need to read specs to be able to use XML? Hardly.

> If it required more effort
> for a beginner to get a web page working, more people would get locked
> into proprietary solutions like Dreamweaver that try to make it
> easier, and that's a standards failure.
>    

Are we still talking about namespaces? Because I do not see how this is 
related. I know the usual HTML propaganda.

Additionally, if we are referring to that type of beginner (the type 
that doesn’t really know what he’s doing and just copy/pastes stuff 
together), he will not even get to the point that he has to use the 
namespaces. He will just create some HTML and maybe copy/paste some SVG 
graphic and be happy. And even if he does, say he’s reading some 
tutorial, do you really think that they will not have the namespace line 
in their examples? Well, even then, he’ll just google for some other 
example then.

> I don't see why it would be okay to add more confusing things just
> because some existing things are confusing, though.
>    

It is not okay, however I find it kind of hypocritical that the HTML5 
people keep stumbling over the alleged XML namespaces ‘complexity’, and 
they themselves have created (or well, documented) one of the most 
horrendous monsters in existence, complexity-wise.

Especially when I really really don’t see what’s so complex about XML 
namespaces. I don’t like indirection any more than any one of us because 
it reduces transparency, but the prefixes in XML namespaces add only one 
level of indirection and that trade-off comes at a good benefit. And the 
concept isn’t exactly hard, no harder than say, variables in a program.

~Laurens

-- 
~~ Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san nan da!! ~~
Laurens Holst, developer, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com


Received on Thursday, 1 October 2009 15:11:34 UTC

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