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 19:20:32 -0600
Message-Id: <4.1.20030103183000.009f11e0(null)>
To: Tantek w ==elik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Cc: www-style@w3.org


You won't let go...below...


At 04:05 PM 1/3/2003 -0800, Tantek w==elik wrote:
>>>>>>> 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.
>
>
>Shelby,
>
>
>You are mistaking a statement of goals and design principles for a statement
>of status quo.
>
>
>Specifically, the statements you quoted:
>
>
>http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/RDFnot.html#Knowledge
>
>"Each field had made certain ___CENTRALIST__ assumptions -- if not in the
>philosophy, then in the implementations, which __PREVENTED__ them from
>spreading globally...We __REMOVE__ the __CENTRALIZED__ concepts of absolute
>truth, total knowledge, and total provability..."
>
>http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/RDFnot.html#Surely
>
>"The __PROBLEM___ with all such systems was that they were conceptually or
>physically __CENTRALIZED__. They required link __GLOBAL__ __CONSISTENCY___."
>
>
>make the point that central "registries" are a weakpoint of many systems.


You and Ian assert above that markup specification _completely_ controls
markup semantics.

If markup specification _completely_ controls markup semantics, then
specification is the central registry of semantics.

Tim Berners-Lee is stating that centralization is bad for semantics.  If
you disagree, I challenge you to get Tim Berners-Lee to comment otherwise.

Also I have seen no reference from you or Ian to support your assertion
that markup specification _completely_ controls markup semantics.

In fact, I will repeat that the HTML 4.01 specification itself only asserts
that it is a specification.  It does not assert that it controls semantics.

You have not cited a normative basis for your opinion.


>Specifically, linking registries are a weakpoint in hypertext systems.  That
>context is important.


Look at both links.  Tim Berners-Lee is also relating decentralization of
semantics to ability of semantic web to be successful.  Again, if you
disagree, I challenge you to get Tim Berners-Lee to comment otherwise.  Any
thing else is just your opinion against what he has written.



>  One could conclude that ideally there would be no
>need for any central registries for anything.


There is a failure in your logic.

I have not argued against central registries.  HTML 4.01 spec is a central
registry of specification.  It should not be a central registry of markup
semantics according to Tim Berners-Lee.  Note the different words,
specification vs. semantics.  Again, if you disagree, I challenge you to
get Tim Berners-Lee to comment otherwise.



>  But that does not refute that
>fact that:
> 1. central registries exist today
> 2. some number of such registries are required for things to work today


Yes, central registries of specification, not central registries of semantics.

Read the fundamental disagreement between Ian and myself:

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


>We may improve the situation by minimizing the number of such registries
>that are needed, but we are only in the middle of the process of doing so,
>and are certainly not at the point where you can build and use systems
>interoperably with others across the world with _zero_ central registries.


I am not arguing against central registries for specifications.  I am
agreeing with Tim Berners-Lee that central registries for semantics are
bad.  Thus specification does _NOT_  completely control semantics.



>Now, in the "watch what they do rather than what they say department", go
>read the W3C process document:
>
> http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process-20010719/tr
>
>Here is a key portion:
>
>"A W3C Recommendation is a technical report that is the end result of
>extensive consensus-building inside and outside of W3C about a particular
>technology or policy. W3C considers that the ideas or technology specified
>by a Recommendation are appropriate for widespread deployment and promote
>W3C's mission [PUB15]"


That is fine.  I am not arguing against central registries for
specifications.  I am agreeing with Tim Berners-Lee that central registries
for semantics are bad.  Thus specification does _NOT_  completely control
semantics.



>The reality (status quo) is that one or more central registries are
>necessary to advance such goals as a semantic web.  The W3C is a centralized
>organization, open to any with email/web access, with special privileges for
>those that can afford it.
>
> http://w3.org/TR/ is a central registry whether or not it calls itself
>that.


I am not arguing against central registries for specifications.  I am
agreeing with Tim Berners-Lee that central registries for semantics are
bad.  Thus specification does _NOT_  completely control semantics.



>Within a W3C context, W3C Recommendations are the only way to define "ideas
>or technology" that are "appropriate for widespread deployment".  Sometimes
>these RECs quote extensively from other central registries (IETF, UNICODE,
>ISO etc.) as well.


I am not arguing against central registries for specifications.  I am
agreeing with Tim Berners-Lee that central registries for semantics are
bad.  Thus specification does _NOT_  completely control semantics.




>>From that, I believe many folks derive the notion that a tag name is
>meaningless unless defined in a W3C specification.  I think that is a very
>reasonable conclusion.


Reasonable but incorrect according to the whole thrust of Tim Berners-Lee's
effort to decentralize semantics.  He specifically says that previous
attempts to centralize semantics have failed.  Go read the entire document
of his that I linked to.



>>>>> 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
>
>Your quote of a handful of words _pales_ with the TBL's time and effort
>pursuing W3C as an organization, and his promotion of W3C based (i.e.
>centralized) standards.



I am not arguing against central registries for specifications.  I am
agreeing with Tim Berners-Lee that central registries for semantics are
bad.  Thus specification does _NOT_  completely control semantics.

Again, if you disagree, I challenge you to get Tim Berners-Lee to comment
otherwise.


>While an improvement, this index of posts is still too long, and too
>redundant to hold the attention of folks, to effectively make your points.


Then it is not important enough to you.  That isn't even more than one
chapter in any first year college text book.


>> Phew, I do not think I could manage at this time.
>
>I strongly sympathize, however...


Thank you.



>> My posts above should
>> suffice for now. 
>
>I would assert that the above will not suffice except for maybe one or two
>individuals who have the time and amazing patience to read through that much
>loosely organized (I hazard to say disorganized) text.


The CSS group is free to ignore if they so choose.



>So I'll reiterate - if you truly care about getting your point across,


It is impossible to get a point across to people who are not interested.


[...]

>If you're saying you don't have the time to do so, then it just means you
>don't really care enough about it to do so

I already wrote the information.  I even provided summary links that can be
read in a couple of hours total.

If you don't care to read it, that is your perogative.

It has nothing to with whether I care.  I can't control what other people do.


>You are very far from disproving Ian's assertions about how W3C defines
>semantics.


LOL :-)

It is above plain as day.

I have seen no references cited from Ian or you to support your claim that
specification _completely_ control semantics.


>Again, I sympathize with your point about being too busy.

Thank you.


>I for one respect the amount of time you have spent trying to "have yourself
>proven wrong" in this thread, I think that's the right attitude to take for
>an implementer, and shows a good example to be followed.


Thank you, but I am not wrong yet.  Not until I see references cited which
prove that specification _completely_ controls semantics.  Or until Tm
Berners-Lee (or other equivalent highly respected semantic expert) says
that I am wrong.

Afaik, you and Ian are not semantic experts (nothing in your resumes to
support such).


>However, IMHO you could work on improving your form a bit (as I'm sure many
>of us myself included could), as entering a list, making claims of
>superiority (experience etc.), and insulting long-standing respected members


Just remember that I did not discuss my experience in first post and I was
the one who was insulted first and Daniel was first to mention his experience:

First response to my initial post:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2002Dec/0188.html

Daniel Glazman wrote:
":-D Thanks for that morning laugh. Please try..."

"work with XBL on a daily basis, used XSLT to produce the CSS 3 Selectors
Test Suite, and I think I know quite well what Bert Bos thinks of the Web,
past present and future "

"I am the co-editor of the BECSS spec that federated some time ago the
Action Sheets proposal from Netscape and the HTC proposal from Microsoft. I
know quite well this subject. "


>of that list, is not an effective means of either convincing the members of
>that list of your points, or motivating members of the list to even bother
>spending the time in the discussion.


I can not force people to open their minds to learn new things.


>  It doesn't help to alienate the
>community that you want to help you.


In life, there is no use being concerned about closed minded people.  I am
only concerned about what open minded people will do, because they are the
only ones with power of mind to either help or compete with me.


>  At some point folks would rather just
>stay silent rather than correcting you,


Maybe they do not want me to correct them :-)



> and, let you go off and learn by
>trying and failing (which is not necessarily a bad way of learning mind you,
>just a more expensive way).


Same for the people who use XBL.  They will fail and learn.  XBL will never
be a standard.



>> 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! :-)
>
>I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


Thank you.

>  Good luck in your product
>development efforts.  Ultimately the market will be your judge.


You got that right.  I'll be back here in 2 - 3 years to remind you of
that. :-)

This is an open challenge to XBL supporters to make XBL a standard and to
make it successful and ubiquutous.  I am confident they those supporters
can not.  Prove me wrong, if you can.

-Shelby Moore
Received on Friday, 3 January 2003 20:19:29 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:54:19 GMT