W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > html-future@w3.org > May 1998

Re: Relationships between different XML applications

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 11:15:09 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199805301515.LAA02209@access5.digex.net>
To: html-future@w3.org
to follow up on what Daniel B. Austin said:

> 	To me, this seems like an excellent supporting argument
> to one of my ongoing proposals for the future of HTML - that
> HTML be designed specifically for machine generation without
> human involvement.

"Without human involvement..." Ah, you must be being sarcastic.
The point of WYSIWYG is to allow the author to be directly
involved with what their readers will see.  The point of
accessibility is to get HTML back to being a robust medium which
captures what you have to say and not just what you expect your
reader to see.

But to take this at face value for the moment:  

As far as I know, the best current practice for blind people
wishing to create Web pages, database applications, and similar
lightweight programming is to use text interfaces.

The DAISY Consortium is working on some XML-based authoring tools
that will be blind-friendly.  That's vaporware at the moment.
For most blind people today, if you can't develop it with lynx
and pico, it's not really a medium to which they have write

Writeability of HTML is a value.  It contributes to the
democracy, the universality of the Web.  If we make HTML not
writeable as text, we lose.  You have to have a story how you are
going to make that up to sell this.

One of the writeability problems of XML is that it assumes tags
are there to form elements, and that elements nest.  This is an
unnatural restriction on verbal expression.  It is possible to
form a tag soup class library that is more writeable, and yet
well posed.  Some tags would participate in forming a spanning
tree of containers, but others would not.

Maybe one of the pieces of technology that we need to work up is
a tag-suppression alterate form of XML which is invertible, and
used in textwise authoring tools in a consistent way for all XML

But for HTML, it's worth looking at standardizing on the basis of
a "swarm of tag handler honeybees" analysis architecture.
Without presuming that "tags form elements form a tree."

Received on Saturday, 30 May 1998 11:14:50 UTC

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