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Re: The Conflicting Notions of Ease of Use and Need for Authoring Tools

From: Ryan Cannon <ryan@ryancannon.com>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2005 08:31:02 -0500
Message-ID: <41DA9A96.6020904@ryancannon.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
CC: orion.adrian@gmail.com
> My fear is simple. I fear that authors as a whole will never
> understand semantic markup to a degree with authorship is easy. They
> may understand the need for it and why it is useful, but I doubt most
> peopel will ever be capable of making good choices about their
> semantic markup. Instead it will be up to the authoring tools to do
> so.
This is a fundamental problem with any art form (as CSS design is and 
will increasingly become). There will always be those who maximize their 
use of the language and those who don't really care what it's meant to 
do and just need to get the job done. Writers will scoff at poor use of 
grammar and artist will cringe at a non-artists choice of decoration.

To wave off semantic markup as unintuitive is short-sighted: the idea is 
to change the way we think about design to optimize a new paradigm. The 
vast majority of designers come from a print background, where there is 
no thought to the whys and hows, only the end product. But on the web, 
we're dealing with an organic product, one in which readers can rip open 
the flesh and examine the skeleton. In addition, the print designer can 
more accurately predict his audience, which is next to impossible with 
digital design.

The key to the future is for designers to demonstrate the power of 
maximizing emerging standards. As people get impressed with our work, 
businesses will demand better designs and authoring tools will emerge to 
fill the increasing need.

Ryan Cannon
Instructional Technology
Web Design
RyanCannon.com <http://ryancannon.com/?refer=email>
(989) 463-7060
Received on Tuesday, 4 January 2005 13:31:24 UTC

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