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: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 16:03:11 -0600
Message-Id: <4.1.20030103153750.018eb100(null)>
To: Tantek w ==elik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Cc: www-style@w3.org


>>>>> First, we are not only talking about HTML elements. XBL has the
>>>>> ability to bind semantics to new tags. There is no specification
>>>>> for those new tags.
>>>> 
>>>> And therefore those new tags have no semantics, no meaning.
>>> 
>>> Thanks for writing that. I hope everyone reads that. New tags have
>>> no meaning according to Ian Hickson.
>> 
>> That is correct.
>
>I too agree with this position.


I can find no evidence to support this position, but there is evidence from Tim
Berners-Lee which suggests that both you and Ian are wrong:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0062.html


[...]

>> People should not be sending any elements that have no predefined
>> normative semantics over the network.
>> 
>> This is one of the fundamental cornerstones of accessible Web design.
>
>Again, strongly agreed.


Again Tim Berners-Lee disagrees with you (he is against centralized semantics):

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0059.html 


Since Tim Berners-Lee founded the W3C, and since he is the main driving force
behind Semantic Web, I think you better yield to his expertise.


>>> Need I say any more? Why would any one markup a page with tags that
>>> have no meaning?
>> 
>> That is a question very well worth asking, and one which has often
>> been overlooked by the XML groupies who jump on the bandwagon as it
>> goes past.
>
>So true.  Very sad, but true.  Not just XML groupies, but self-proclaimed
>so-called XML experts who have written books on the subject have made (are
>making) this mistake as well.
>
>You might say there is even the potential for XML to enable a "destruction
>of the tower of babel" like scenario - with thousands of non-interoperable
>languages springing forth which communicate some implied (but unspecified)
>level of meaning among their micro-communities, but which actually destroy
>communication across communities.


Actually Tim Berners-Lee argues that centralization is what causes failure:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0059.html 


>>> I can't fathom where you get the idea that someone can or would
>>> author a web page without having some clue what the tag meanings
>>> are.
>
>I know, isn't it incredible?  I can't fathom that someone can or would
>author HTML without having read the HTML4 (or any HTML) specification.  I
>can't imagine that anyone would use <b> tags to mean heading, and <br> tags
>to mean paragraph separator (which are of course, not the "meanings", if
>any, of the <b> and <br> tags).  Where could you possibly get the idea that
>people would do such things?


Sort of proves my point doesn't it?

Specification is not all powerful.


>>> I suggest you re-read the ENTIRE thread, therein you will find some
>>> of my thoughts on this.
>
>Shelby, the email medium is very poor for representing the depth and
>richness of your thoughts on this.


Agreed.


>  It is unreasonable to ask and/or expect
>Ian or anyone else to re-reread the ENTIRE thread to try to understand your
>thoughts.
>
>I have tried to read every email on this thread all the way through as they
>were posted, and *I* have lost track of the number of different points being
>made, and the latest "debate status" of each.  Perhaps I am simply too
>intellectually inferior to keep up.  I get the feeling that I am not the
>only member of this list who is starting to "tune out" of this thread.
>
>I suggest for everyone's benefit (including your own) that you instead
>summarize your points in a online essay (hosted at your website), titled
>something appropriate, like:


My summary posts (read in this order):

Semantics:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0057.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0062.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0059.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0053.html

Last summary post of XSLT and XBL differences (conceptual example):
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0049.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0040.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0039.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2003Jan/0037.html

Near last summary post of XSLT and XBL differences:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2002Dec/0228.html

Key summary:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2002Dec/0201.html

First post:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2002Dec/0171.html

Examples:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2002Dec/0216.html

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2002Dec/0175.html


[...]

>If you really care about getting your point across to the W3C community, you
>care about making your point accessible to as many members of the W3C
>community as possible.  A well written richly semantically marked up* essay
>would serve this purpose far better than the current prolonged email
>dialogue for this topic.


Phew, I do not think I could manage at this time.  My posts above should
suffice for now.  If XBL gets momentum to becoming a standard (and especially
under CSS group) then I may consider doing as you suggest.  Then again, I may
just be too busy.

I make money implementing, not writing specifications.  My only goal was to
share info and find out if there were any major holes in my logic.  Now that I
understand Ian's disagreement, and now that I have proven his definition of
semantics is not supported by references on web, then I feel confident I have
gotten what I wanted out of this exchange.

I think I can let this standard as my final response on this thread.  Hopefully
in some months, with links to commercial examples in XSLT (running on all
browsers in 2003! :-)

-Shelby Moore
Received on Friday, 3 January 2003 17:02:07 GMT

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