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

RE: XHTML and RDF

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:24:41 +0000 (UTC)
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Cc: 'Tantek Çelik' <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, 'David Woolley' <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0402261326290.8126@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, Mark Birbeck wrote:
>
> Is it possible that there is more to the take-up of HTML than simply
> 'ease of authoring'? (That's assuming that the notion of 'ease of
> authoring' is accepted, since there is just as strong a case to say that
> the 'tolerance' of browsers to inaccurate mark-up was more significant.)

Tolerance of browsers to inaccurate markup is just another facet of ease
of authoring.

Although it would be even easier if it was more interoperable, as could
have been ensured by well-defined error handling rules in the specs. :-)


> I think it's worth distinguishing between the end-users of a product,
> and the people who produce that product. Underpinning discussions like
> this one is often the assumption that the 'end-user' of HTML is an
> author; I would suggest that the end-user is the person booking the
> holiday, trying to find a part in their company's inventory, researching
> their PhD - and at the moment a lot of this stuff is more difficult to
> do than it need be.

I didn't actually mention the end-user in my comments -- I don't see any
problems in the proposal as far as the end user is concerned. Assuming we
can get the software to mine the data well, users should definitely
benefit, regardless of the details of the syntax.


> These people are already working around the limitations of both the
> languages (HTML, CSS, etc.) and the implementations. Authors are
> delivering useful sites now, despite the efforts of us experts. Whether
> it's working around the inconsistencies between CSS on Mozilla and IE,
> or using JavaScript to give their users powerful menus, toolbars or
> validation, or using XSLT and XPath to get more control and flexibility,
> they are certainly not 'average Joe-blow authors'.

Exactly. As you said: They are not your average author. Those are the
advanced authors -- those that, for example, are authoring in XHTML2
_today_ and having their sites automatically down-convert to XHTML1 or
HTML4 on the fly. Those that are discovering/inventing new ways of
working around UA bugs.


> So, I'd rather not take as our starting-point that 'the author' is
> incapable of grasping anything more complicated than a horizontal line
> and a break - let's treat them with some respect!

Don't get me wrong -- namespaces are a great tool for extensibility. I'm
not saying that we (the W3C working groups) should stop supporting them.

All I'm saying is that for the common case, the only mention of namespaces
should be the magic incantation that is the default namespace declaration.

-- 
Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
U+1047E                                         /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
http://index.hixie.ch/                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 26 February 2004 09:24:46 UTC

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