W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2006

Re: [BULK] - Re: [XHTML2] Spirit of "1.1.3. XHTML 2 and Presentation" (PR#7759)

From: Chris Sullins <theazureshadow@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 16:32:38 -0800
Message-ID: <43FD02A6.1010403@gmail.com>
To: Paul Mitchell <paul@paul-mitchell.me.uk>
CC: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>


In my opinion, "style" makes perfect sense. I can agree with that. 
(Still, you must remember that there may come different style languages. 
Saying that W3C has "the one style" is a dangerous mindset to get into. 
You then don't allow for the growth of the web. It seems that's the 
reason why we not only have <style> tags, but also type="text/css" in html.)

I must take exception, however, to your claim that "script" is perfectly 
chosen term.

Paul Mitchell wrote:
> As this is explictly a computer-domain discussion, yet movies have 
> already been mentioned elsewhere, I offer this as my definition of 
> script, intended to be all-encompassing. 

The purpose is not to be all-encompassing. The purpose is to describe 
precisely -- and no more -- than it encompasses.

You make a good case for the fact that whatever gets put in "script" (or 
"behavior") is going to be able to be defined as a "script." But that 
misses the point. "Script" taken in that context might as well be used 
for "style" or even for "content". What else is html but a set of 
instructions for what the browser is to put on the screen? What is css, 
but a set of instructions for how the browser ought to color and 
position (etc.) elements on the screen? PHP, for a third example, would 
not fit under a "script" tag even though it is DEFINITELY a "script". I 
think that "script" is far too general for the purpose for which it was 
originally used. "Behavior" describes exactly what javascript is meant 
to do: provide some interactiveness, some behavior for the page.

On a slightly different subject: There is certainly something to be said 
for consistency. People will still be able to understand what we're 
talking about if we use "script" to describe behavioral elements of web 
design, but it would just make that much more sense to call it 
"behavior." Since the web is still in its infancy, we need to take the 
time to develop clear, sensible names for things, or we end up with a 
twisted and unintuitive language. The more twisted and unintuitive a 
language becomes, the higher the learning curve, and the more unusable 
it is. And I'm sure we can all agree that the purpose is for it to be 

-Chris Sullins

P.S. I don't know whether my quoting works. Are there some guidelines on 
quoting messages that are being responded to?

Paul Mitchell wrote:
> A "script" is an ordered sequence of written instructions that 
> co-ordinates the actions of one or more things over time to create 
> something other than itself and the things it instructs - a 
> performance of some kind.
> The <script> tag perfectly describes its content, being always a 
> sequence of programming instructions or a reference to same, and its 
> function, which is to co-ordinate the browser and user for the time 
> they spend working with the document.
> Fashion has already been mentioned elsewhere, and the first definition 
> is clearly a statement of fashion. But the importance, the monumental 
> impact of the second defintion CANNOT be ignored. The word "style", on 
> the web, means "W3C Style" and nothing else. The W3C is THE authority 
> on fashion on the web, the One True Style, so by viture of that alone 
> the <style> tag perfectly decribes its function (a statement of 
> fashion for the current document) and its form (see W3C for details). 
> The bare <style> tag still cannot be reasonably interpreted to mean 
> anything other than "here comes some variety of CSS", which was its 
> original intended purpose.
> -- \
> Paul Mitchell
> www.paul-mitchell.me.uk
Received on Thursday, 23 February 2006 04:27:32 UTC

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