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Re: code, samp, kbd, var

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 06:42:23 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0705150630450.11553@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Tue, 15 May 2007, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> > 
> > Element   | Pages  | Per page
> > -----------+--------+----------
> > <td>      | 90%    | 90
> > <ul>      | 30%    | 6
> > <cite>    | 0.5%   | 6
> > <code>    | 0.4%   | 20
> > <blink>   | 0.1%   | 2
> > <dfn>     | 0.1%   | 10
> > <var>     | 0.05%  | 10
> > <kbd>     | 0.04%  | 10
> > <samp>    | 0.02%  | 20
> > <ruby>    | 0.01%  | 70
> 
> That's probably just part of the data, selected for a specific purpose. 
> I can't believe that <li> wouldn't appear at all, for example.

Indeed, I just provided Lachlan with the data for <code>, <var>, <kbd>, 
and <samp> (the elements he asked about) and a few elements on either side 
to give context.


> > Sample size: several billion pages.
> 
> It's hardly a sample. (See Statistics 101.)

It's a sample, though the Web provides us with a somewhat unique situation 
in that there's an infinite number of pages, and we have to somehow pick a 
relevant subset from that. [1] The pages I scanned for this study are a 
small subset of those Google knows about. Unfortunately for business 
reasons I can't reveal much about the methodology used for picking the 
sample. That's one reason I would like other people to do this kind of 
study -- while the data is great and very convincing and extremely useful 
to _me_ (I do these studies to help me with designing HTML5 as part of the 
WHATWG work), I don't expect anyone else to base their decisions on it.

[1] It's easy to pick a billion uninteresting pages, e.g. these billion:

   http://damowmow.com/?000000000
   http://damowmow.com/?000000001
   http://damowmow.com/?000000002
   ...
   http://damowmow.com/?999999999


> > To put that in perspective, 0.05% of 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) is 
> > 50,000,000.
> 
> So what's the point?
> 
> Maybe you mean that <blink> is twice as justified as <var>, or that both 
> are irrelevant, or that both are relevant. Hard to guess.

That's rather up to you. The data tells you what is, not what should be. 
You look at the data, and you form your opinions based on what you learn 
from it.

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 06:42:37 GMT

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