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Re: Getting beyond the ping pong match (was RE: Cleaning House)

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 06 May 2007 13:08:30 +0200
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <tg8r33tak0uoi6k4l98f7nq9opc71jhjd4@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

* Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
>> If we follow the draft we actually find that the burden of explaining 
>> what real practical problems can occur is on the proponents of the idea,
>
>The burden of proof is on the ones making the claim.  The claim is that 
>predefined classes create real, practical problems.  Prove it!
>
>Some of the classes were chosen because they are widely used.  We have 
>statistics to show that, for example, copyright is the 9th most widely 
>used value.  What is the problem with using assigning a definition that 
>is compatible with the dictionary definition of the term?
>
>http://code.google.com/webstats/2005-12/classes.html

I assume these questions are directed at the WHATWG since "User agents
should not derive particular meanings from class attribute values that
are neither defined by this specification nor registered in the Wiki."
is for them to explain. I have no problem with someone making a useful
tool that does just that. I do have a problem with you claiming that a
plausible example is implausible and ignoring requests to back that up,
especially if you demand demonstration of evidence and proof of others.

If you have any statistics that indeed show one thing or other, it'd be
great if you could share them with us. The document above does not con-
tain useful statistics as the reader is not given any means by which to
determine whether the used sample is representative for any particular
question of interest. In this sample it might come out as #9, using some
other sample it might be #3 or #99, the numbers just aren't useful.

Of particular interest on the page above is the claim that "most pages
apparently don't use the class attribute at all". I grepped my browser
cache and found that only error pages and 1 document containing only an
advertisement had no class attribute, which leaves us with the choice
that either my day to day web browsing is completely non-representative
or that Google's sample is, with respect to some population that has yet
to be specified.

I hope the "WHATWG" will soon explain what problems are caused by user
agents inferring meaning from class names not specified by WHATWG or
WHATWG's wiki and how that differs from deriving meaning from so-speci-
fied class names.

>Care to elaborate on this?  What is the real problem created by 
>forbidding that value, given that <meta charset="UTF-8"> has been 
>provided as a working alternative for conforming documents?

I was just kidding, it's a great change! :-)
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Sunday, 6 May 2007 11:08:40 GMT

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