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

RE: XPath as CSS-selectors?

From: Asbjørn Ulsberg <asbjorn.ulsberg@nrk.no>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 12:36:13 +0200
Message-ID: <D186E3C450FED2119AFA00508B08736F06E938CC@MAEXCH05>
To: "'Boris Zbarsky'" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: www-style Mailing List <www-style@w3.org>

Boris Zbarsky wrote:

> From the point of view of the web developer and the UA user,
> any non-instantaneous response to anything is a bug in the UA.

Well, obviously it's not. Most web developers should be playing
with Lego instead; I think even *that's* more challenge than they
can handle.

> I've run into a goodly number of bug reports I've seen that start
> with "This is really slow in all the browsers I've tested it with,
> but I'm filing this bug anyway" and then proceed to present
> algorithmically slow JS.

Well, such developers should just get their fingers cut right off,
or at least not given access to express their opinion about such
matters. Seriously. I can't see and understand why this is UA-
developers and Good developers that does The Right Thing's problem

> So face it, if you give people a way to shoot themselves in the
> foot they _will_ do it.  And then scream at you for letting them
> do it.

Just let them do it; it gives us yet another reason to call them
stupid. These developers are probably the same as those who use
tables for layout, put almost all the text on their pages into
images (and forgetting the "alt"-text), use Flash instead of
HTML, and JavaScript menus which doesn't work without JS support.

The problems mentioned above are *much* worse than the itsy bitsy
problem of speed when XPath and dynamic scripting are used
together, so I don't think we should focus too much on the speed-
subject yet. :s

> That's another way to look at the performance complaint -- CSS
> selectors make it very difficult to shoot yourself in the foot
> performance wise, while XPath makes it very very easy.

Yes. CSS Selectors has a strong hand there, and this won't be
XPath's target in this case either. XPath is used where CSS 
Selectors can't, but everywhere else we use CSS Selectors.

>> This goes for anything stupid that can be done with ECMAScript;
>> and there can be done (and is being done) *extremely* much
>> stupid, I tell yer!
> 
> Sounds like you've had experiences similar to mine... ;)

I guess any web developer that knows a bit about how to do things
(like you and me) have had experiences like this. ECMAScript can
be used to enrichen web pages in many ways when done Right, but
you almost never see it (done Right, that is). Never.

-- 
Asbjørn Ulsberg           -=|=-          X-No-Archive: No
"He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away"
Received on Friday, 20 June 2003 06:36:23 GMT

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