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Re: XPath and find/findAll methods

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 23:13:40 +0100
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>, public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, "Martin Kadlec (BS-Harou)" <bs-harou@myopera.com>
Message-ID: <o00oc7lenkcqrddbuprd9sepa9j7ds24b0@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>I know you're being somewhat hostile because you like XPath and we're
>essentially saying "ignore XPath, it's dead", but still, you're
>arguing badly.
>
>The web platform has a single selection syntax that has won without
>question.

When Robin starts referring to himself in the third person, pretends to
represent some newspeak "web platform" and claims it's without question
that he is right, then you could probably say he is arguing badly. Such
sad attempts at manipulating the debate, and discouraging participation
by people who might disagree, usually come from elsewhere though.

>If it lacks some abilities, extending it is almost
>certainly better for both implementations and authors than pulling in
>a completely different selection syntax that is *almost* identical in
>functionality but happens to include those abilities that were
>lacking.  If this were any other pair of technologies, I highly doubt
>you'd be able to make yourself argue that having two gratuitously
>different syntaxes that authors have to regularly switch between based
>on the exact property they want, and which can't be used together in
>any simple way, is a good situation for us to create.  That's almost a
>textbook example of valuing spec authors over everyone else.

Selectors are even less expressive today than what was proposed at the
time Robin brought this issue up the first time on www-style, over a de-
cade ago, as far as document structure is concerned. The main thing the
CSS Working Group has done since was printing some Selectors Fan shirts.
I am not sure who that is valuing, but it's neither authors nor users.

Your argument about languages is interesting of course. If you want to
set styles statically, you use CSS syntax, but if you want to do so dy-
namically, you have to use JavaScript syntax once you leave the trivial
feature set of CSS syntax. Maybe using JavaScript syntax for both would
be better, so authors don't have to learn a whole new language? Authors
might actually agree if they see future style sheets full of variables,
mixins, media queries, feature detection rules, plus their jQuery codes
to fill the styling gaps, that JSSS should have been the way to go.
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 22:14:07 GMT

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