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Re: Design aims of XHTML 2.0

From: Chris Moschini <cmoschini@myrealbox.com>
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2003 15:08:55 -0500
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <1067976535.aef4b520cmoschini@myrealbox.com>

Lachlan Hunt <lhunt07@postoffice.csu.edu.au> wrote:
>  The best thing that authoring tools could do to improve usability and 
> put more focus onto structure rather than formatting would be to remove 
> the menus and buttons from the tool bar such as font, font size, bold, 
> italic, underline, strike through, line spacing, etc... (ie. anything 
> similar to a deprecated HTML element) and implement something similar 
> to, but still more structure oriented than, the Styles and Formatting 
> Task Pane in M$ Office XP.

You aren't going to win any hearts at MS with this argument ;o) Many users will become very
angry if your new version features "do less with more menus," which is what taking that
toolbar away would accomplish.

However, to be constructive, what might work better in WYSIWYG/WYSIWYM editors, is to still
offer these simple bold/italics/indent buttons, but when a user applies some set of formatting
properties to a section, that section could actually be assigned a style that takes on the
formatting properties assigned. If the user ever decides to think so abstract as "there are
Styles I apply, not formatting," then some set of Styles are already prepared for them to
merge and otherwise organize, as a starting point.

The logic of this starting point would be entirely dependent on the implementation's ability
to "guess" what the user meant. If there are only 3 formatting types used - a big bold font,
some normal text, and an indented smaller font, then the user's intent is obvious, and they'll
be quite impressed the day they realize Styles exist (or accept that Styles might be a good
idea). Documents with more mix-and-matched formatting will be tougher guesses and stress the
capabilities of the implementation.

Any WYSIWYM editor could do this - Word, Dreamweaver, TextPad... .

-Chris "SoopahMan" Moschini
http://hiveminds.info/
http://soopahman.com/
Received on Tuesday, 4 November 2003 21:58:25 UTC

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