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Re: XHTML2: Proposal for total separation of semantics from structure

From: Junk Account <avoid.spam.account@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 04:49:38 -0300
Message-ID: <a0d59120509270049684c17d3@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
hello, david
 Please see http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xhtml2-20050527/mod-core.html
 Either I miss somehting, or it says that class *could* be used ("for
instance") for css. But it *does* say that is generic. Not for styling, not
for meaning, but simply to specify some elements (and not others) as
belonging to a same group, or class: i.e, is general purpose.
 After re-reading it, I wrote this:

If you ask me, it means you can not blame web designers much for mixing up
meaning and style.

Please consider the following ponts:
1) Web designers did not have, at least up to now, other way to do their
styling. Particularly, they did not have a styling-specific specification
mechanism. The class atribute, the only one provided, was a generic one. In
short, they did not have a style="" atribute.
2) There was, up to now, not a quite compelling reason why this should not
work, or cause any problems. Why not? For instance, beacause the semantic
web vision was not quite there yet. However...
2.1) The semantic web vision is getting ready for prime time, and is a
massively important development.
2.2) XHTML 2.0 is also a big change, and a very rare strategic oportunity,
since it breaks backwards compatbility. That does not happen every day, nd
we should take maximum advantage.
2.3) Both things are bound to happen at just about the same time.
Which leads us to...
3) Proposal for total separation of structure from semantics.
Which also lead us to...
4) Proposal for creation of styiling-specific and semantic-specific
specification mechanisms (i.e, style="" and meaning="", or similar). In this
context, I sustain that class="" should be mantained for the same reasons as
before: extensibility, given that we can not foresee all other possible uses
If you noticed I just asked in this same list, if XHTML copy/pasting *with*
formatting (and potentially meaning) could be achieved. The very encouraging
answer was "yes", it can be done with XHTML in its present form.
However...most pages today are styled using class="", which is a generic
mechanism. If we wanted to implement algorithms for collecting all style
information and all meaning information when copying and pasting
XHTML...wouldn't we run into trouble? Wouldn't we need styling-specific and
meaningspecification mechanisms specific for styling, and for semantics?
 More on that thread, if you wish.
 Regarding my mail adress, yes, I'm aware, thanks. I do look at it, however,
and I did include my good adress in my first message. I hoped it was obvious
that I did this to avoid spam. I have no clue why w3c lists don't mask email
adresses, though.
 Fernando Franco
Received on Tuesday, 27 September 2005 07:49:48 UTC

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