W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2004

Re: complexity

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 07:30:51 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200404220630.i3M6Upw02833@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

> I always considered creating websites as using browser specific
** implementations of the w3C recommendations and the document as a graphical
** representation of the code I write.

You are starting the wrong way round.  The document is the information
you want to communicate.  The HTML is the document as text, with structure
identified.  To this you add CSS that hints, but does not specify, the
graphical, audio, braille, etc., representation of it.  Finally a graphical
browser will produce a graphical representation, subject to the user's 
preferences.  Other types of browser will produce other representations.
The end result should be the reconstruction of the documents content, not
representation, in the user's brain.  Note that the document comes before
the code.

Other user agents, e.g. crawlers, may only produce internal computer
models of the structure.

> When I use HTML ver. 40 I implicitly I assume that Browser x is capable
** to understand HTML ver. 4.0.

Which includes understanding that some browsers may have no means of
representing the significance of some elements.  Also for CSS, which is
not HTML, it means understanding that they are not required to implement
all hints and may not be able to because of physical limitations, etc.

> However, this doesnt affect the bare document because the "document"
** is nothing more than a text file becoming an HTML document when I save
** it .html.

The document is the information.

> The problem of dead links or not supported language properties has
** various sources, one of them is browser specific implementation of w3c
** standards and the other is bad implemented code.

The primary cause of the sort of dead links I am referring to is the not
using of HTML, i.e. using EcmaScript plus proprietary browser automation
features.  (The other source is the purely semantic one of referring
to non-existent URIs, although, if browsers were more strict in their
implementation of HTML, a lot would be due to failing to use entities
to protect the & character within URLs, an authoring fault.)

> If you want to use the <marquee> Tag for example it works fine with
** MS IE but it wont work with Netscape however, this is  a browser problem
** and not a document related problem.

Marquee is not part of HTML. It is an IE proprietory extension.  It is
also not part of the document content, as its purpose is purely presentational.
(It's also undesirable from an accessibility point of view.)  Netscape
is not required to implement MS proprietory extensions, and, in general,
can't do so accurately anyway as they are underspecified (but authors 
assume more about their behaviour than you can actually safely assume from
what MSDN says).
Received on Thursday, 22 April 2004 02:51:08 UTC

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