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RE: Tag Soup (was: FW: XHTML)

From: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil.kjernsmo@astro.uio.no>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 14:19:28 +0100 (MET)
To: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.05.9912051355240.1506-100000@rasalhague>
On Sun, 5 Dec 1999, Arjun Ray wrote:

>> Eh, Gresham's Law?
>Often misstated as "bad currency drives good currency out of circulation"
>when s/bad/cheap/ and s/good/dear is the truth - it's a rational economic
>decision. 

Thanks for the info.

>Tag Soup is easy to implement, easy to use, and poses few if any hurdles
>on the learning curve.  Generalized Markup requires thought, planning in
>advance, and militates against adhockery. 

Well, I find HTML 4.0 Strict very easy to write with some exceptions.
Isn't it just a matter of shifting attention from "what should my document
look like" to "what do I intend to say"? I can't see that any of the two
should be more difficult than the other, and considering what kind of tag
soup you have to cook to get things looking the way you want.... I must
admit that I was pretty horrified by the thought of having to write CSS as
well as HTML in the beginning, but I think what needs emphasizing to
people, is that structured HTML is really very simple.

>When shown all this unremitting shouting, our hep and with-it marketing
>guy was scandalized.  How dare Lynx *ruin* the page! Oh well...

:-) BTW, the web sociology project at the University of Oslo (where I am),
still uses H4 for normal text <URL:http://www.uio.no/~iroggen/>... I just
had to say it.

>> The problem is IM(NS)HO that page writers sacrifice usability of their
>> pages (e.g. collapsing lists would have been great!), 
>
>We had 'em.  In early 94. 

I was too late to experience this... :-(

>I agree, but the point is not so much to assign blame as to understand the
>"forces" involved.  WYSIWYG *has* captured the public imagination, and so
>in service to it, browsers are developed as extensions of the authors'
>will rather than the readers'.

Agreed, so what do we do about it...? I guess there are still many people
out there who haven't yet started writing web pages. The message that
needs to get through is that you should think about structure rather than
looks. How do we say that?

I'm hoping voice browsers will take off soon... :-) It would be the most
radical break with WYSIWYG, suddenly, it isn't just a matter of looks, but
also a matter of, well, "hears"... If all the small gadgets take off, they
will help too... But I fear the major players will just invest a lot in
making different pages for different media (like "choose printer-friendly
version"), and nobody will realize that all you need to do is make one,
accessible page... 

>That's what Tag Soup is all about.

Indeed.

Best,

Kjetil
-- 
Kjetil Kjernsmo
Graduate astronomy-student                    Problems worthy of attack
University of Oslo, Norway            Prove their worth by hitting back
E-mail: kjetikj@astro.uio.no                                - Piet Hein
Homepage <URL:http://www.astro.uio.no/~kjetikj/>
Webmaster@skepsis.no 
Received on Sunday, 5 December 1999 08:19:36 GMT

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