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Re: Advocacy By The Clueless Considered Even More Harmful

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 01:26:38 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-talk@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0106160040030.10535-100000@info.q2.net>
On Fri, 15 Jun 2001, Aaron Swartz wrote:
> On Friday, June 15, 2001, at 12:48  AM, Arjun Ray wrote:

> You seem to be missing my entire point. 

Just as you seem to be missing mine:)

> Most people write web pages because they want something to appear
> on the screen.  Period. End of story. I believe this is what you
> refer to by the "Tag Soup mentality".

No.  The Tag Soup mentality is "I want X, so there's gotta be a
command for X, so what's the tag for X?".  Since I've written about
this quite often in the past, I won't offer a detailed explanation.  
Instead, I'll offer these:

 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Oct/0035.html
 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Oct/0053.html
 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Dec/0010.html
 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Dec/0044.html

> Well, I got news for you: this is a mentality that extends far
> beyond HTML pages and as much as I would like, it's not going to
> change anytime soon.

Gee, what did I write here?

 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Dec/0062.html
 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Dec/0087.html

> HTML is most understandable in an intuitive WYSIWYG way. 

No.  What browsers do with HTML is understandable that way, because
that's how the programmers thought of it when they wrote those
browsers.

Instead of an honest spec to *reflect* that fact (that HTML in
practice is nothing but Tag Soup), we have a whole bunch of highminded
handwaving about generalized markup, stylesheets, and sundry other
geeky paraphernalia.

> So let's make them visible.

If that was your point, here's mine:

The notion that browsers are "forgiving" is a pernicious fallacy.  
The truth is that these browsers are not - in fact, were never even
intended to be - good-faith implementations of the HTML specs
currently enshrined by the W3C.  On the contrary, these browsers are
*enabling* Tag Soup for reasons that any WYSIWYG-er would find *easy*
to understand.

So, whatever your other point might have been in calling for more
"strict" handling of XHTML, citing a piece by a clueless twit didn't
strengthen your case.


Arjun
Received on Saturday, 16 June 2001 01:13:53 GMT

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