W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2003

Re: XBL is (mostly) W3C redundant, and CSS is wrong W3C layer for semantic behavior *markup*

From: Shelby Moore <shelby@coolpage.com>
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 2003 22:39:18 -0600
Message-Id: <4.1.20030101212434.0386c190(null)>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

At 03:13 AM 1/2/2003 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
>So would you agree with the following definitions?
>   Intrinsic
>      Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing.
>   Essential nature of an element
>      Its tag name.


>   Semantics
>      The intrinsic meaning of an element, for example <p> means
>      "paragraph", <select> means "select one or more items from this
>      list", etc.

<select> can also be a tree in HTML4 using <OPTGROUP> so I would just say
"select one or more items".

>   Defining of semantics
>      The mechanism by which the intrinsic meaning of an element is
>      created, changed, augmented, or subclassed.
>   Non-semantic binding
>      A mechanism of association that does not define semantics.
>   Semantic binding
>      A mechanism of association that defines semantics.


>If you agree with the above, could you define "mechanism of

Not sure we can define that beyond the meaning of the words.  Do you feel
it is not useful as an abstract definition?

I think it is already complete.  For example, parsing elements is a
mechanism of binding semantic markup to the DOM.  XSLT transforms is a
mechanism for associating semantic markup with other semantic markup and
other orthogonal layers (scripting, events, style, etc).  The latter
association ("other orthogonal layers") may have a further layers of
indirection thru bindings of those layers to semantic layer.

I think perhaps where you are leading with this is that the XSLT
transformation is also involving the other layers in "what is associated"
by the binding mechanism of association (e.g. transformation).  Note that
the mechanism of association is orthogonal to (does not depend on) which
layers are associated.

So I think keeping that abstract definition is essentially my point about
orthogonality.  Once you attempt to define what types of association are
allowed, then the mechanism is no longer orthogonal to what is associated.
Semantic binding only limits to associations which define semantics.
Non-semantic binding only limits to associations which do not define semantics.

-Shelby Moore
Received on Wednesday, 1 January 2003 23:38:45 UTC

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