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

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 00:41:56 -0600
Message-ID: <177232198904.20030104004156@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org

Ian wrote on Friday, January 3, 2003 at 9:36:44 PM:

> On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Shelby Moore wrote:

>> If one renders a paragraph by dispersing the characters randomly on
>> the screen in random positions, no doubt that is a presentation
>> change, but I also argue it is a semantic change because the
>> paragraph can not be read any more. It is quite different from
>> changing the font of a paragraph.

>    p { display: none; }

> ...makes a paragraph unreadable as well, but it doesn't stop the
> (invisible) paragraphs from being paragraphs.

> The semantic layer is, according to the diagram of my views on the
> matter, a layer below presentation, and the presentation layer
> cannot affect the semantic layer.

I agree, and here's why:

There are at least two types of semantics: those defined by HTML and
those defined by authors and readers (i.e., humans). In a variety of
ways, CSS can change the meaning of a document--but only to a human.
No property in CSS affects the HTML specification; although I'm not
familiar with XBL, I've seen no proof that XBL can change the
definition of HTML elements either. It's like someone manually typing
an undefined element into a text editor; the element has no meaning in
HTML, even though it may have meaning to the author.

Shelby, I assume you disagree with me; can you change my mind? (Or
have I changed yours?)

For example...

>> If one renders a paragraph by dispersing the characters randomly on
>> the screen in random positions, no doubt that is a presentation
>> change, but I also argue it is a semantic change because the
>> paragraph can not be read any more. It is quite different from
>> changing the font of a paragraph.

I agree random character dispersion is a semantic change to the person
reading the document, but it's not a semantic change to HTML. It's
also not a semantic change to a person reading the document without
author style sheets, and it's not a semantic change to someone or
something interpreting the source of the document. Thus, in the ways
that matter to this discussion, it's not a semantic change.

-- 
John
Received on Saturday, 4 January 2003 01:42:17 GMT

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