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Re: [whatwg] Proposing URI Templates for WebForms 2.0

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2008 11:20:44 -0400
Message-Id: <8579EEF4-5FAF-4252-884C-9239AFE8AB11@IEEE.org>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Jerome Louvel <contact@noelios.com>, whatwg@lists.whatwg.org, uri@w3.org, rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>

On 31 Oct 2008, at 6:37 PM, Mark Nottingham wrote:

> +1, although I'd say it a bit differently.
> Doing it in script precludes unintended reuse, e.g., for  
> accessibility, search engines, and so forth; it's not a good  
> solution *if* there are compelling use cases for this, but we  
> haven't seen those yet AFAIK.

** pro

Let me suggest two threads of reasoning that I believe make it plausible
that doing these specializations with declarative patterns is better for
accessibility than doing it in imperative script.

1.  Pattern-ist dyslexics

Some dyslexics are extreme pattern-ists.  How can I explain this  
Well, there is another class of cognitive condition sometimes called
'semantic pragmatic' in which people are extremely literal in their
interpretation of terms.  The semantic-pragmatic individual does not
interpret simile and allusion well.  Patternists are the opposite of  
preferring a projective development of an idea as an intersection of
known ideas to a constructive development as a union of known facets.

Some people are extreme patternists, and we know them as dyslexics
because of the pointillist operating point of our written language.
The language assumes more atomicity to terms and concepts than what
obtains in the mental calculus where they most comfortably operate.

So, having the patterns discoverable from which the particulars of the
conventional dialog are specialized would presumably be an aid to  
technologies for these people, as having a few words to replace a
picture with is assistive for people who can't see.

2.  Personalization

In accessibility, we like to talk about an adapted presentation of the
web dialog which is better for the actual delivery context than the
nominal presentation contemplated by the author was.

Personalization is a way to describe this re-purposing capability that
addresses all sorts of mobile and situational needs as well as the
particulars of personal abilities.

The patternist dyslexics that I described above are conspicuous in their
dependency on patterns of relationship.  But all of us, to one extent
or another, are operating in terms of both point and patterns as we
comprehend what is there and what we can do in a web dialog.

In transforming the look and feel of a web application, the tool doing
the transforming needs to know what are the key relationships to
preserve so that the fungible details can be changed without breaking
the application as it communicates to the user.

How can I say it?  It is like why we want data fields to be typed.
Having a variable (substitution symbol) in a pattern means there is
something to hang metadata on that tells you the common characteristics
of all values that may take the place of this symbol.  This is a very
helpful knowledge-threading path to communicate an application that  
is well-
enough understood to enable a literate re-flow and not just a hash.

** con

This is not to say that the migration-path-bumps issue isn't important.
To this end we may need some redundant capability, such as the
ability to provide both a script and a function call in the XML Events 2

RESOLUTION: specify either a handler or a function attribute; if specify
both @function takes precedence

None of this presumes to know what is the right answer for HTML at this
time.  More declarative _is_ usually better for accessibility, but we  
to be careful not to over-tax the cognitive load on the author, and one
has to be extremely careful how one makes changes when dealing with
continuity of operation for an immense user base.


> Cheers,
> On 29/10/2008, at 6:20 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> On Fri, 12 Jan 2007, Jerome Louvel wrote:
>>> Even though the URI template RFC is not finalized yet, we already  
>>> have a
>>> complete support for it, on the server-side, in the Restlet  
>>> framework.
>>> We happily use them for our URI-based routing and I think they  
>>> add a lot
>>> of expressiveness while keeping a simple syntax. Usage example:
>>> http://www.restlet.org/tutorial#part11
>>> They are also supported in WADL, the RESTful description  
>>> language, and
>>> in the OpenSearch specification. Extending their usage to HTML forms
>>> sounds like a logical and useful step.
>> It seems to me like URI templates can be trivially done from  
>> script and
>> from the server side already; given the poor backwards- 
>> compatibility story
>> of URI templates, what do we gain from adding it to the language?
>> -- 
>> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                ) 
>> \._.,--....,'``.    fL
>> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _ 
>> \  ;`._ ,.
>> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'-- 
>> (,_..'`-.;.'
> --
> Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Saturday, 1 November 2008 15:21:29 GMT

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