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RE: Lack of Forms Constructs in SVG

From: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 15:42:42 +0100
Message-ID: <81E4A2BC03CED111845100104B62AFB5824B17@stagecoach.bts.co.uk>
To: www-svg@w3c.org
> From:	Josh Zeidner [SMTP:jmz_phylogenic@hotmail.com]
> 
>   HTML lacks conceptual integrity when it comes to things like forms.  In 
> many ways HTML is a "presentation" language( if youll allow me to make
> this 
> 
	[DJW:]  HTML is most definitely not a presentational
	language; it is a document structuring language.  It gets
	used as a presentational language for 
	historical/marketing reasons, at least 
	one of which is the failure of Adobe to react to the
	emergence of the web quickly enough, in my view.  It is very
	ugly as a presentational language compared with older languages,
	like PostScript/PDF.

> be processed( or sent over the wire in this case ).  Also in this case the
> 
> idea of "forms" are *very* specific to a data interchange protocol: http.
> 
	[DJW:]  
	You can print the result of filling in PDF forms.

> SVG, in my view is not intended to be anything more than a way of
> describing 
> static and animated graphics.  Once we start supporting various data 
	[DJW:]  
	HTML was not intended to be used as a presentational 
	language, but that is its main current use.  I think 
	a similar fate will rapidly befall SVG.  The mass market doesn't
	like component solutions; it wants one thing to do everything
	(trivial example: meta http-equiv, rather than configuring
	servers).

	The result tends to be that every cleanly targetted software
	standard eventually degrades to be like every other one 
	because people won't accept it being lean and mean.  HTML
	was explicitly intended not to compete with word processors
	and page description languages, but now does exactly that.

My expectation is that any failure to recognize that people will
try to use SVG as the only tool for creating web pages will either
result in uncontrolled feature creeep, or a plethora of popular
how to books describing how to abuse it to do what the market
wants; for HTML these tend to be based on the empirical behaviour
of browsers, but written as though they were about he definitive
behaviour of the language.

SVG is a real presentational language, unlike HTML, and most 
designers want a presentational language, whilst HTML is only
forced into that mould.  It is much too powerful just to be
used for diagrams; if support becomes universal it will be used
for formless navigation and catalogue type pages, and people will
look for ways of achieving the same look and feel on the form
pages.

HTML lost its integrity by deliberately not targetting commercial
wants; I think SVG will go the same way if care is not taken.
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Received on Friday, 20 October 2000 10:43:26 GMT

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