W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > November 2003

Re: Semantics/Profiles/Namespaces/Modules Re: XHTML <time> element proposal

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 03:07:59 -0800
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BBCA2529.2F79C%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

On 10/30/03 11:29 AM, "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org> wrote:

> 
> Le Jeudi, 30 octo 2003, à 04:00 America/Montreal, Tantek Çelik a écrit :
>> The purpose is simple semantics.
>> 
>> <time> is more semantic than <span class="time">
> 
> not exactly. More interoperable semantics :)

No, exactly.  

The 'class' attribute, by definition, has no defined semantics.

A new tag, defined by a new spec, has defined semantics.

Therefore <time> would be more semantic than <span class="time">


> a <span class="time"></span> could have a lot of semantics as well if
> there was clearly defined profiles attributes by the HTML WG and IMHO
> it would be easier to move forward the spec.
> 
> Imagine you have
> - profile for time (day, month, etc),
> - profile for citations (author, title, etc)
> - etc

This would be possible only with both
 - a defined profile format
 - explicit acknowledgment that profiles can define class semantics as was
stated in "Hypertext Links in HTML" http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-htmllink-970328

Neither of which is the case today, although both of which I would like to
see.

But even *with* all that, my statement above stands, because a tag defined
by a specification from a standards organization would be more semantic than
an attribute value defined by a web author.


> In HTML 4.01, you had an attribute called ³profile², unfortunately the
> format of the profile has never been clearly defined. But it was
> something on the form of
> 
> <head profile="http://www.example.org/profile/something">
> 
> it was even possible to have.
> 
> <head profile="http://www.example.org/profile/something"
>      http://www.example.org/profile/another
>          http://www.example.org/profile/yetanother">
> 
> The HTML WG could decide to define one or more generic profiles
> defining the semantics of the attributes AND at the same define the
> format of profiles file...
> 
> And you could make it mandatory by assigning a set of profiles, in fact
> what you call a PROFILE in CSS ;), to have a conformant implementation.
> 
> This can be achieved by
> 
> Profiles of attributes
> Modules of elements
> Modules of attributes
> namespaces
> 
> The profile defining what has to be implemented by the products to be
> conformant.
> 
> After it's more a matter of choosing an architecture and a simple
> solution both for the implementers (viewers AND authoring tools) and
> users.

I agree there is potential here.  Perhaps you should re-ask your question
about profile formats in a month or so.


>>> Better keep the markup simple.
>> 
>> Data comes before metadata.
> 
> data are metadata themselves ;)

This is a meaningless statement akin to saying something like "people are
companies themselves" (since every person can be their own company).


>> Data markup is also simpler than metadata markup.
> 
> nope. :) it's because you think about something else ;) You are not
> thinking about metadata but about certain ways of marking up metadata,
> which is different.

I stand by my assertion.  If you think you know of such certain ways of
marking up metadata that are simpler than marking up data, feel encouraged
to present them.


>> Yes.  It *is* better to keep the markup simple.
> 
> As long as the simplicity doesn't harm the power, I completely agree.

Harming the power is irrelevant.

A big point of simplicity is to actually reduce expressivity ("power") in
order to increase ease of readability/understanding/use, some might even say
accessibility as well.

SGML-heads were very angry (probably still are) about how the simplicity of
HTML harmed the power of SGML.  We all know which one vastly out succeeded
the other.

Tantek
Received on Sunday, 2 November 2003 06:03:43 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 5 February 2014 23:40:09 UTC