Re: Cascading and scripting (was: The concept of cascading) (fwd)

Once upon a time Paul Prescod shaped the electrons to say...
>on the W3C site) I claimed that the people who will *use* the Document
>Object Model will be amateurs:

Certainly.  And some of us who plan to use it are not.  Just as you will
fine amateurs using Perl, HTML, C, Java, CSS, DSSSL - and anything else
you care to name.

Just because something CAN be abused or misused, doesn't mean it is a bad
thing.  There is a certain school of HTML designers who favor image spacing
hacks, single frame pages, and lots of other things I despise.  That doesn't
mean we shouldn't hqave images on the web.

People get shot everyday - I own a Glock - does that mean I'm going to shoot
someone?  Of course not.

Produce well designed tools and those who know how to use them well can
produce wonderful results.  With care you will still be able to product 
documents that degrade gracefully for all users.  I am certain that not all
authors will take this care, and equally certain that some designers will
deliberately do things in ways to exclude those not on the bleeding edge.
While I will fight that attitude to the death I would not say the tool is
not useful.

"Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right" - Ani DiFranco

>just as they have JavaScript. Long after some more reasonable mechanism
>to express a particular idiom has standardized, they will still be using
>JavaScript or VBScript to do it.

Of course.  I still see new pages using <p> as a paragraph end tag.  And
people are using <UL> to indent.  That doesn't mean they aren't valuable
when used correctly.

>Javascript or 1 pixel gifs does so out of a lack of knowledge or
>intelligence. Sometimes smart people choose to restrict their audiences
>and trap their documents in brain-dead formats with heinous 1997isms in

Exactly.  I can't stand that school of design.  I find it arrogant and
careless.  When you can easily find pages with just as much glitz and flash,
that also degrade well, there is simply no excuse for the lazy approach taken
but the kludgemasters.

>them. One can't really accuse David Siegel of not knowing what he's
>doing. I'm sure he's gotten enough hate-mail from Lynx users to know
>exactly what's going on.

Or from the blind and visually impaired.  His design ideas are oh so popular 
with them.

>Still, I'm not really convinced that we need these "in-between"
>standards like <FONT ...> and DOM to allow people to do interesting
>things in wildly non-standard, non-portable, non-generic markup ways.

The DOM is portable.  It says nothing about what does the transforms.  That
can be JavaScript, VBScript - or any standard scripting language that might
be deployed.  JavaScript is a defacto standard now, fairly safe if you code

>Why not just spend our energy on making standard flow objects and tags
>for the dynamic idioms that people want to express? The answer comes

1. Because you will never be able to anticipate what everyone wants to
express.  So you give them an object model, and let them manipulate it as
they want, with whatever they want.
2. The DOM is defining a standard for the object model.

>are tied. I can appreciate that. Thanks God there is still an ISO as a
>place for some sober second thought.

I don't believe ISO is a serious player in the least.  They take far, far,
far too long to develop anything.  By the time they produce anything the 
vendors will be five steps ahead of them.

>BTW, when will we get access to the DOM WG mailing list archives? The

I'm on www-dom, it has been basically silent for a week or so.  Things are
just starting out.  The list was only recently created.

>even know what is happening there will already be a standard: "Level
>zero will contain functionality equivalent to that currently exposed in
>Netscape Navigator 3.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0." It seems to

I see nothing wrong with this.  It means "we're starting from today's level
as a basis."  Basically HTML 3.2 for the DOM.  You have to start somewhere,
so the first thing to do is formalized today's behavior, then move on.  The
plan is to deprecate some things right off the bat too.

>me that there is something fundamentally wrong when neither authors nor
>Web end-users can contribute to these processes or even know what is

I'd like to work on a few WGs myself (I know I owe some things to a few W3C
folks - I haven't forgotten, I'm working on things from my end too...) but I
can't afford $5000.  If I can find another way I will.  In the meantime I
participate on the mailing lists, and I send things to the WG chairs when
I feel the need.

>going on. AFAIK, the XML discussions are all on the public record. Will
>the same be the case for the DOM?

Why not join the DOM mailing list?

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