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Re: Why Binding Scripting in Style Layer Conflates Semantics

From: Shelby Moore <shelby@coolpage.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 05:16:08 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <4915.>
To: www-style@w3.org

>Shelby Moore wrote:
>> Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>> With XBL bound via CSS, you can (and probably should, for the use case
>>> we're discussing) do:
>>>    select[type="select-a-country"] { binding: url(map.xml); }
>> Yes, but nothing stopping the coder from doing:
>>     select { binding: url(map.xml); }

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> What's the problem with that?  That doesn't alter the semantics of the
> select element in any way whatsoever

Sorry but I hate when people don't read.  I already answered this in my
opening post of this thread today (and I've only made 5 posts today):

I wrote:

"So when did ... <select> imply semantics of countries??"

"...his rendering suggestions require making assumptions about the
semantics, which are not implied by the tags being rendered."

Lachlan, the point is that if the bound code (e.g. map.xml or whatever)
_ASSUMES_ that the contained items are countries, then it indeed has
changed the semantics of a <select>.  Because <select> do not know what
kind of data type they select.

PLEASE, don't make me come back here and defend the same points over and
over.  That is how I ended up with 130 posts last time.  Read everything I
have written in this thread, before you made a redundant post.  PLEASE.

> If it did, then, would you say this is wrong:
> h1 { color: green; }
> By your logic, it would be, because the h1 element is not marked up as
> being a *green* heading

Green presentation has nothing do with semantics of heading <h1>. 
Whereas, country is data type of selection, which implies what kind of
intelligience can be applied to the data, e.g. displaying a world map
instead of a drop-down list.  Intelligience is what the semantic web is
all about.  Please this is the Nth time I have asked the reader to go read
up on semantic web at Tim Berners-Lee's web site.  Until you have a
reasonable understanding of the purpose of semantic web, then you are very
prone to conflating style and semantics in comments like this.

Now if you had a <green> tag, and applied a CSS rule, green { color: red;
}, then I would agree you changed the semantics from CSS.  But then again,
<green> does not have much semantic intelligience.  No one may care to
lose that intelligience (information).  I don't think anyone has made a
<green> tag yet.  The community seems to have decided that colors are
presentation variables, not semantic variables.

> My point is, again, that a select element presented as
> a drop down list has no semantic difference from the same element
> presented in another way.

No. If the presentation _ASSUMES_ that the data are countries, then you've
got a major semantic difference.  If you ignore what I am saying, then you
lose the semantic information that they are countries.  It becomes an
obscured contract between the XBL script and the unmarked data items in
the markup, known secretly to the coder (author) but not to the consumer

You are just missing the whole concept of the semantic web.  Your
misundertanding is fundamental.

>> XSLT...
> But in that case you are actually changing the semantics of the
> document,

Correct.  But not hiding those changes.  The final document has the
semantic markup changes.

> whereas CSS and XBL does not do that, and as a result...

Yes they can change semantics as stated above.  And the semantic changes
can be obscured from the markup.  I have said this about 3 times in this
thread already.  And many more times 3 years ago in this list.

> ...by putting the semantics of the final document into the XSLT, you'd
> be forcing the search engines to do exactly that with the XSLT in order
> to understand the document at all.  Search engines do not have to parse
> CSS and script in order to understand the semantics, as they do not
> alter the semantics at all!

The search engine merely needs to run the XSLT transform and operate on
the output.  Whereas, the obscured semantic changes of XBL (as described
in example above) can not be discovered by the search engine, unless they
have a human or Artificial Intelligience to understand that the script has
reinterpreted the data items of the <select> as countries.

Come on Lachlan.  You could have deduced all that from what I wrote
already today.  Please don't drag me into redundantly defending the same
points over and over again.


Kind Regards,
Shelby Moore
Received on Thursday, 24 November 2005 10:16:43 UTC

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