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

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 22:17:11 +0100
Message-ID: <46350B57.5090408@splintered.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

Henri Sivonen wrote:

> Putting something in the spec carries little weight if you cannot get 
> people to use it. All the semantics defined in a spec are useless for 
> markup consumers if you can't get people to produce semantic markup 
> *correctly* and in the quantity that makes it worthwhile for consumers 
> to prepare to consume those semantics.

You also can't get people to produce that semantic markup if that 
semantic markup isn't even available, and the only options present in 
the spec are non-semantic.

> There are four general ways to get people to do something:
>  1) Make it fun. Well, semantics don't seem fun for most people.
>  2) Make people believe that they are morally required to do it. This 
> works for a subset of authors, but it appears that moral arguments don't 
> move the authoring masses.
>  3) Threaten with enforcement that after possible levels of indirection 
> reduces to a threat of violence. (E.g. fine people for non-compliance 
> and have it known that refusal to pay up leads to guys with guns coming 
> to take the offender to jail.)  Currently, there doesn't appear to be 
> political will to use the government-backed enforcement apparatus to 
> enforce certain Web authoring practices.
>  4) Provide amoral incentives that make people do the right thing as the 
> side effect of pursuing their self-interest. This seems to work.

5) Modify the tools that they use (for the most part), let the tool do a 
lot of the heavy/boring/non-fun work for them, present the choices to 
the users in clear and usable ways...this makes users adopt the new 
standard in a transparent way which is invisible to them.

6) Start building tools that consume semantic markup *now*, for 
localised applications/sets of documents, rather than waiting for this 
"quantity that makes it worthwhile". See for instance what's happening 
on the microformats front - far from mainstream, but tools are already 
out there and are slowly finding adoption. These tools can either be 
directly aimed at end users (in the mF case, extensions for FF like 
Operator), or act behind the scenes (unknown to the actual end user, but 
present nonetheless). For another similar example, think of RSS/Atom and 
aggregation...only now it's hitting the mainstream, with tools for end 
users, but the technology has been developed and used even before your 
suggested critical mass was in place.

And for nr 3 - as amusingly as you worded it: enforcement can happen at 
organisational level...in the same way that it's often done for 
accessibility policies. Will this cover the non-organisational, amateur, 
hobbyist coder who doesn't use a tool as outlined in 5)...fine, I can 
live with that.

P
-- 
Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Sunday, 29 April 2007 21:17:22 GMT

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