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: Sandy Moss <sandylmoss@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 22:00:10 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20030105060010.67174.qmail@web14705.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-style@w3.org


My name is Sandy Rubenstein.  I work for a Fortune 500
company based out of St. Louis that is working on
deploying a content management system. I am part of a
small team tasked with preparing a whitepaper about
the possible technologies we could use in this effort.

I have long been a lurker on these lists, but what
drew me from "hiding" was the fascinating issue you
all are now discussing.  It is one that my coworkers
and I have debated at length.  In fact, we have even
researched XBL as a possible solution.

We eventually came to agree, after weeks of study and
consultations with some renowned experts (not Tim
Berners-Lee, but some of his associates), that the
issue of semantics is /not/ orthgonal to the issue of
implementation.  We have normative and indeed
axiomatic evidence of this:

1. Tim Berners-Lee has stated, in no uncertain terms,
that the semantics of a specification should not and
indeed _cannot_ be orthgonal to the implementation. 
If they were, some of the world's most popular web
languages would be unsubstantiated.  This is

2. If we assume for the sake of argument that
semantics are _not_ completely controlled by
specifications, then user agents would have at least
partial normative control.  This would probably lead
to the orthogonal (if not direct) deterioration of the
web, which is equally inconceivable.

3. This is all tangential to the real issue at hand
anyway, and that is: does XBL even change tag
semantics?  Perhaps superficially, but a graphical
comparison of the language to others (CSS, Delphi,
etc.) reveals an axiomatic TSGR[1] of no more than
20-30%.  This would seem to indicate, unless anyone
has a more normative source, that semantic
metamorphosis in XBL is negligible at best.

I have not seen anything on this list, other than some
irrelevant opinions and other intangibles, that can
emphatically refute any of the points above.  While
the existence of such proof is not inconceivable, it
certainly hasn't been brought to this list's

As a side note, my coworkers and I are rather
disheartened at the puerile behavior on this board as
of late.  We are all experts here and are merely
debating some finer nuances of language development. 
Let's please stick to the issues.

Sandy L. Moss

[1] Tag Semantics Change Rate

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Received on Sunday, 5 January 2003 01:00:11 UTC

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