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Re: From XML to (X)HTML with Semantics Intact

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 23:21:18 +0100
Message-ID: <44C6995E.60309@splintered.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

Costello, Roger L. wrote:

> <location> 
>           <latitude>32.904237</latitude>
>           <longitude>73.620290</longitude>
>           <uncertainty units="meters">2</uncertainty> 
> </location>

> How would you represent this in (X)HTML, with all of the semantic 
> richness retained?  That is, can (X)HTML capture all of the semantic 
> richness, albeit in a different form/markup? 

I would say that no, HTML on its own can't. It has a very limited 
vocabulary, which is fairly generic for the most part.
I'd think that the only way to mark this up while preserving the exact 
semantics would be to mix XHTML with another technology (as you would 
when combining, say, XHTML and MathML into a single document). You'd 
then need to make sure that you're sending your document as 
application/xhtml+xml or similar, rather than text/html. Also, it's not 
to say that the user agent at the receiving end will have any idea of 
how to actually interpret it, beyond purely displaying it.

Once you give up on keeping the exact same semantics/structural 
relationships, then there are probably quite a few ways to mark this 
up...all of them inadequate for maintaining the richness of information 
of the original XML.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 22:21:30 UTC

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