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Re: HTML5 script start tag should select appropriate content model according to src

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 15:08:55 +0300
Message-Id: <99AF9881-C131-4D39-9A12-A61A9702656E@iki.fi>
Cc: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, www-html@w3.org
To: tina@greytower.net

On Apr 26, 2007, at 18:04, Tina Holmboe wrote:

>   Either the presentational bits go, or we're left with a
>   half-presentational language as since HTML 3.2.
>   Is that what we want?

Depends on who "we" is. One common criticism of Web spec development  
is that the specs are too focused on browsers and hand-authoring and  
do not take editing applications into account sufficiently. When you  
start listening to authoring tool vendors, you'll find that they say  
their customers expect presentational things.

I think the key realization is that PDF vs. TEI/DocBook is a false  
dichotomy. There's something useful between fully presentational  
formats and formats that encode detailed semantics. HTML is somewhere  
between those extremes and it is a good thing that it is there. It is  
up to the specification process and the practical application of the  
specification to pin down where exactly in between the extremes HTML is.

>>>    * Elements which DO contain semantics - even if rarely used - are
>>>      being tossed out, such as ACRONYM. Why did you remove that?
>> In reality, the <abbr> and <acronym> are synonymous with each other.
>> Amusingly, the HTML4 definition for <acronym> does not match the
>   No, in reality they are /not/. In the usage patterns of some web
>   authors they are. It's not the same.

Whenever this topic is discussed, it turns out that the kind of  
people who are interested enough in semantic markup to discuss it  
cannot among themselves agree which abbreviations are acronyms. To  
me, this indicates that it is utterly unrealistic to expect casual  
authors who don't participate in these debates to get the distinction  

>   Because I do not believe in one-language-fit-all scenarios. We / 
> need/
>   a document language. HTML5 is the logical choice. Others need an
>   application language. Great - then start /that/ from scratch and get
>   it right.

In the real world, HTML is used as the application language as well.  
Making everyone stop and adopt something from scratch is not  
realistic given the network effects of installed base on the Web.  
That's why we need to incrementally improve the applicability of HTML  
as a Web application language.

>   A content-centric markup language with rich semantics is /needed/.

But why? That sounds like an axiomatic "rich semantics are better".

>>>   Perhaps we should create a user-driven group that can take on the
>>>   task of cleaning up HTML 4, and present that as an alternative.  
>>> The
>>>   HTMLWG would, I presume, give that equal consideration.
>> You are free to join the HTMLWG, do the necessary work and put forth
>> that as a proposal if you wish.
>   I can. I might. What's the deadline for such a proposal?

The WG is having a formal survey about adopting WHATWG HTML5 as the  
*starting point*.
Quoting the announcement by Dan Connolly: "A 'no' vote in this survey  
is a formal objection. An individual who registers a Formal Objection  
should cite technical arguments and propose changes that would remove  
the Formal Objection."

The survey is open until 2007-05-04, so now is the time to join the  
group and make your formal objection known if you believe that filing  
one is good for the Web.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Sunday, 29 April 2007 12:09:06 UTC

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