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Re: XHTML Invalidity / WML2 / New XHTML 1.1 Attribute

From: Sean Palmer <sean_b_palmer@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2000 04:03:32 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20000812110332.15418.qmail@web3506.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Cc: connolly@w3.org, jrexon@newsguy.com, DJW@bts.co.uk, bertilow@hem.passagen.se
Dear All,

Once again, thanks for the great response.
Contents
1) Individual replies to people
2) Comments in general (along with more replies!)

Re: Dan Connolly
Thank you for taking time out to prepare these files
for us - it certainly saves us the future task. Will
the schema URI be permanent, or should I copy it
locally?

Namespaces are certainly one way of doing it; however,
it doesn't seem as if any provisions are being made to
combine the Schema spec. with the (X)HTML spec. - i.e.
it doesn't validate on the main XHTML validator.

For people's convenience, I added an XHTML DTD to the
document at
http://www.waptechinfo.com/comment_test_xhtml.html

Having a util:comment attribute, however, is not the
same as having a comment attribute, unless the Schema
was universally recognised. Maybe the W3C should come
up with a library of Schema for people to use? (Such
as the one you kindly prepared for us).

Re: DJW

It seems to me that you are looking at what comment
"META" data really means - this is the approach
needed, to get to a generic solution as well as a
technical one. It seems to me that you find comment
data to be unconnected in any way to the original
text:-

>[DJW:] I think you want several 
> different attributes, or an attribute 
> which is not a "comment" attribute, 
> and which has an extensible pre-defined 
> structure. I understand comments to 
> be completely free text.

Whereas the examples that I have given show them to be
an integral part of the document itself! A comment
should only be there for a reason, not at the whim of
the author.

However, I completely agree with you in that we need
some kind of extensible system here. Namespaces would
provide a means of doing that, but all I am talking
about here is a simple inclusion of data that cannot
otherwise be added. Many web site designers would
prefer to use a comment attribute than have to learn a
whole new META language (which is what we seem to be
moving towards). Which brings us on to:-

Re: Jan Roland Eriksson 

> The real question to be asked
> is "for whom is it necessary" to 
> find a syntactically valid 
> document? Surely not for the 
> average www visitor, s/he just 
> wants URL addressed pages to 
> be rendered as fast as possible.

Well - the web needs standards to ensure that chaos
doesn't ensue (marquee blink etc.), but I see your
point: too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many
specifications make the Web unusable. This is another
arguement for simple adding a comment attribute to
XHTML 1.1. rather than any of the other ideas
suggested here.

Re: Karl Dubost

> And what do you think about
> the annotation system? 
> http://www.w3.org/2000/Talks/www9-annotations/

It's a good idea, but it doesn't stick very well for
this purpose.
Of course, we have Christian Smiths idea:-

<?BM_COMMENT 
<meta name="date" content="8/11/2000">
<meta name="author" content="Chris Jones">
<meta name="status" content="Review">
<meta name="reference" content="bluemoon.gif>
<meta name="comment" content=" The bluemoon.gif 
file is just a placeholder logo Maddy says Dave has a 
friend who does graphic design and he is going to do 
something fancy in exchange for some work he needs 
Dave to do (I'm not asking, I don't want to know " >
?> 

But this would only work for small amounts of
comments. If you had 50 elements in an XHTML document
that needed commenting upon, you would end up with way
too much META info, and confusion in this style. In
the reference part, you would have to start using ID#
instead of file names (which is bad practise anyway).

The idea that you provided earlier may be a little
better:-

<!-- 
<date>8/11/2000</date>
<author>Chris Jones</author>
<status>Review</status>
<reference>bluemoon.gif</reference>
<content> The bluemoon.gif file is 
just a placeholder logo Maddy says 
Dave has a friend who does graphic 
design and he is going to do something 
fancy in exchange for some work he 
needs Dave to do (I'm not asking, I 
don't want to know) </content>
--> 

But we couldn't do an XSLT transform on this because
it is commented out. Some browsers can't handle markup
in a comment.



2) Comments in general

Overall then, we now have quite a few ways of adding
simple meta info. into a document:-

1) 
<!--
meta name="" content="comment" />
-->
2)
<!--
<xml>data</xml>
-->

3)
<x util:comment="" />

4)
<x comment="" />

5)
<!-- -->

or

6)
<?BM_COMMENT ?>

The problem stems from the fact that most of my
initial suggestions for a comment attribute were
unuseful. The best one, I believe, to use now is the
"Generated from XML source" comment.

In a complex document, you may have the following
snippet:-

<p>Person1: Hello person 2.<br />
<img src="null.gif" alt="Person 2: 
[Shock]" /><br />
Person 2: Don't call me that.</p>

Which is generated from XML. To show that it was
generated from XML, we could do the following
LEGALLY:-

<!-- Generated from XML source 
(xml.xml/xml.xslt) -->
<p>Person1: Hello person 2.<br />
<img src="null.gif" alt="Person 2: 
[Shock]" /><br />
Person 2: Don't call me that.</p>
<!-- End of generated code -->

Which is a bit messy as invalid because of this:
comments are not really part of the markup itself.
They float around in the text, but don't relate to a
particular element. However, the text in them usually
DOES refer to an element. Therefore, why not include
the comment into the element itself:-

<p comment="Generated from XML 
source (xml.xml/xml.xslt)">
Person1: Hello person 2.<br />
<img src="null.gif" alt="Person 2: 
[Shock]" /><br />
Person 2: Don't call me that.</p>

Except for the namespace idea, no other idea includes
a comment into the designated area by means of actual
MarkUp. My idea is simple, and it works well; of that
I am now convinced. However, an extensible META
language for comments only does sound promising; but
we would still need to include this into the document
by means of namespaces. We could write a whole new
languge for this (METAML? or how about UTIL, as per
Mr. Connolly) and declare a namespace for it and the
DTD. Then, we would just include parts of it into the
document - encompassing the range of attributes that
DJW talked about, and the Schemas that Mr. Connolly
has provided.

SO, in conclusion, the best two ideas (in my humble
opinion) are a comment attribute, or a completely new
language. What say ye all?

I hope this has been enlightening.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
http://www.waptechinfo.com/
http://xhtml.waptechinfo.com/


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Received on Saturday, 12 August 2000 07:04:04 GMT

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