W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2005

Re: Simple template-based editing

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 15:25:18 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c8010510031225x5437e673rb4e1d6a2b86a52ac@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 10/3/05, Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> > Not quite, at least in my mind. UL and OL have slightly different
> > semantics even though they're built on the same basis (a hierchical
> > list).
>    Actually, that's a weak argument, since the difference is largely
> presentational. Unordered lists have an order, since the list items
> exist in order in the markup.
> > A select is a non-hierchical list (or partially hierchical with
> > optgroup).
>    Not true for the Web Forms 2.0 version of <optgroup>. That allows a
> fully hierarchical option list.
> > Also the items do lack a value attribute, though that's a
> > technilogical issue and not a semantic one; value is used as
> > identification because it's often easier to work with.
>    I disagree. What you want to present the user and what you send to
> the server are two different things. If the user is selecting the color
> red, you may want to send "#FF0000" or "rgb(255,0,0)". If the user
> selects a book, you might want to send the ISBN number. It's not so much
> that you're sending an easier identification so much as you're sending
> back information that's relevant to the server rather than the user.

The user's choice is relavent to the server. #FF0000 is a
non-ambiguous way of saying red (within the confines of 24-bit RGB).
#FF0000 and Red both identify the same concept, but adjusted to
different audiences. If they were truely different then the user would
choose red and the server would send back #00FFFF or something else.
The ISBN number similarly is a way of unambiguously identifying a
book. Computers need unambiguity to function and humans often get
bogged down by it.

An item in a computer represents a concept or object. Users interact
with computers by identifying objects that they want to interact with
and then how they want to interact with them. Computers require that
we identify objects unambiguously; they're not very good at
interpreting. So programmers and certain cataloguing professions
create unambiguous identifies to communicate what it is their talking
about. But as a user I have many avenues with which to idenify the
object. I could describe it, use it's common name, a local nickname,
or just describe the features of it. The only purpose of unique,
unambiguous identifiers is for communication across multiple mediums
or people so that everything along the way knows exactly what they're
all talking about. So the server does care about the user's choice and
they care about the user's intention, but the computer can't make any
sense out of the text "Red" so the programmer creates that link for
it. The user chooses red, the programmer places the link from that to
#FF0000 and the computer now knows what the user wanted.


Orion Adrian
Received on Monday, 3 October 2005 19:25:21 UTC

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