W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1997

scope and semantics?

From: The Kemmis Family <kemmy@netexpress.net>
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 08:26:00 -0600
Message-Id: <199711281426.IAA04647@netexpress.net>
To: "w3c style sheets" <www-style@w3.org>, "hwg-stylesheets" <hwg-plus-stylesheets@hwg.org>
Terry Crowley recently posted a reply to some css stuff in w3c style sheets
which prompted me to add a few ideas.

Go ahead and talk to some friend who's not deep into this area and try to
convince them why they should care whether strong means bold or bold
means strong when they're just trying to write their damn page and get it
up on the web.

Besides just doing my own home page work for the fun of it, I teach a
couple of classes at a local college on basic HTML and basic CSS1. :)  And
how do I approach these subjects?

First, (or lastly) I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep it simple
stupid! As trite as it might seem.  I get too involved with this stuff at
times and forget what the scope and goals of the class are. So I aways
start (and end) there.

Next, I limit my scope to things you can accomplish with a text editor like
notepad. Everyone has notepad or some simple text editor on the computer.
Even the PICK computer at work has one. :)  And HTML is text mark up,
right? That effectively scraps some HTML tags such as forms, java, etc. (I
only have so much time, money, and computer anyway!)

I also limit the scope to a particular standard. I have picked HTML 3.2
(Wilbur). Why? It is well documented on the internet and it seems to work
with most 'popular' browsers. I could pick another standard and that would
be ok too. From a practical matter though 3.2 is well documented and that
is what works for me.

So what's my point? I think that css and html has evolved too far away from
the original scope of HTML: hyper <b>text</b> mark up language. The key
word here is text. Are the fancy HTML docs of today textual documents?
Hmmm...... Another medium is probably better for them than hacking HTML (or
CSS for that matter). Maybe XML is the place most of this discussion should
be (as suggested by Mr. Crowley).  Maybe another transport protocol should
be invented.

And semantics:  b, i, em, and strong... Hey, we now have four tags to apply
css to instead of just two.

So maybe the standard writers and browser programmers should keep it simple
and review the scope of html and css.

Btw, I really appreciate all the work and comments that go into the
creation of the standards and the browsers!!!!! Keep it up!

John L. Kemmis
a member HTML Writer's Guild
Received on Friday, 28 November 1997 09:26:24 UTC

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