W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > August 2006

Re: XHTML2 and JS ads

From: Mike Whitehurst <*@mike-whitehurst.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 23:07:53 +0100
Message-ID: <001501c6bcc9$6fc70480$0500a8c0@MIKE>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
i imagine the first thing that would come of this is a Firefox extension for removing <advert> content from pages :o)

Mike Whitehurst

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: David Woolley 
  To: www-html@w3.org 
  Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 9:39 PM
  Subject: Re: XHTML2 and JS ads

  > It would have a lot more than just an <adverts> element -- commercial Web 
  > sites would need elements for things like context menus, asides, footers, 
  > meters, etc, and would need to define APIs for how these things interact 
  > with the DOM, as well as having APIs for graphics, sound, drag and drop, 
  > networking, and so forth.

  Yes.  It is true that if, as I was doing when I said that one would need
  an advert element, assumes that the basic principle of XHTML2, that it
  represents structure.  However, I don't believe that commercial web
  designers care about representing structure, and, in general, representing
  semantics can be counterproductive, because it shifts control from the
  producer to the consumer.

  There is also an imperative in commercial web site design to be 
  different, preferably from the competitors, although in reality  more
  to be different from last months new web site.  This does defy the
  usability principle of having a consistent user interface, which would
  be the potential benefit of having structural elements for them.  When
  they were first introduced, they would be new, and would be used, but
  that wouldn't last long.
  > As far as I can tell, actually, XHTML2 is aimed at simple documentation 
  > pages, and complex tax forms.

  I get the distinct impression that you think that there is no real
  use case for XHTML2.  I would suggest that the number of in house
  content management systems that seem to be around suggests that there
  is a demand for something closer to the original aims of HTML.  In 
  such an environment, the obvious, and WYSIWYG, alternative would have
  been MSWord.

  On the other hand, if it is not used much in anger, it can still be
  worthwhile in terms of keeping alive the original, pre-commercial,
  goals of HTML, some of which may still influence the commercial track.

  >From a commercial use point of view, I think all versions of HTML are
  an abberation.  The network hyperlinking and, in the beginning, the
  fact that you could author using tools that you already had, proved 
  sufficiently attractive to outweigh the fact that it is a markup
  language and not even a page descriptions graphics one.

  However, this has had beneficial consequences in making search engines
  easy to develop (whilst they now cope with PDF as well, I'm not sure
  that would have happened so fast if the web had been based on PDF) and
  it has set a standard in terms of creating accessible documents, which
  has even resulted in PDF now having an HTML-like structural overlay,
  even if its use is not that common.  

  My feeling is that if it hadn't have been possible to show that
  the underlying text and structure could be extracted, awareness of the
  possibility of providing alternative means of accessing a document
  wouldn't have been as great.

  > The biggest reason _not_ to have an <advert> element is that people 
  > wouldn't use it, thus making it useless. This is the same argument against 
  > having <img longdesc>, <object standby> (or in XHTML2, <standby>), etc.

  Yes.  Basically they benefit the consumer, and, in particular those
  consumers who are likely to have low buying power, or be discriminating
  in what they purchase, rather than following fashion.  They don't 
  benefit the seller, with the fast connection and the desire for 

  longdesc has the particular disadvantage that images are typically used
  either, in a catalogue, as an alternative to spending the time to provide
  an informative description of the product, and in pure advertising copy,
  to send messages that wouldn't be allowed in text, because they would
  be making unsubstantiated claims about the product.

  The big danger, if XHTML2 is produced, is that it will become fashionable
  and lots of people will try to use it for commercial sites, for that reason,
  rather than because it is suitable.

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Received on Thursday, 10 August 2006 22:08:06 UTC

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