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Re: Proposing <indent> vs. <blockquote>

From: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 11:44:27 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 06:59 AM 4/14/2007 -0400, Mike Schinkel wrote:

>Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
>>Ease of use is a crucial goal, but I doubt HTML suitable for writing
>>everything from documents to web applications ever has been or ever will
>>be suitable for mass, still less universal, hand authoring.
>It is becoming clear that the "common" author of HTML content if woefully 
>under-represented here. Just as Microsoft's developers were all C++ 
>developers in the 90's and Visual Basic developer's needs got ignored when 
>APIs were developed, so are the needs of the "common" HTML author being 
>ignored because of the tremendous experience of those participating in 
>this working group. My guess is that almost nobody in this working group 
>can actually appreciate the trials and tribulations of an HTML author does 
>not have the skill to build everything from scratch and that doesn't 
>understand HTML and CSS specs intuitively. Comprehending what is just too 
>hard for most people is outside of your grasp. And that is a real shame, 
>because there are many orders of magnitude more "common" HTML authors than 
>there are with people who have your level of understanding.

Mike, I have to agree with you. There are a lot of people on this list who 
know too much,
or at least think they do. Fortunately, some of the most experienced people 
on this list
are actually aware of the need to preserve and protect a core set of 
presentational markup
in HTML. So, don't feel that you need to beat your head against the wall. 
Not only will
<blockquote> be preserved, but we will get an <indent> or <nest> or <???> 
to indicate a deeper level of content. If and when TV Raman raises an issue 
accessibility, we will take his concerns (as representative of WAI) into 
account, but he
has already sided with you and I on the need for a core set of 
presentational markup.
Dan Connolly, our co-chair and the earliest HTML specification writer, is a 
guy who is not likely to be swayed by the neo-semanticists in the group who 
that they can deprecate old HTML elements.

For all of you who disagree with our position, it would behoove you to 
actually read
what we have had to say on this subject. It's not that we don't understand 
your arguments.
We understand them completely, having once uttered them ourselves, and we have
moved on. It is absurd to even suggest that HTML is a semantic language, 
to the extent that the sphere of meaning is "hypertext document publishing."

That's not to say that semantics can't be overlayed onto HTML, it can. 
Using a variety
of techniques, including CLASS attributes, profiles, GRDDL, XSLT, and so on,
HTML content be used coerced into being semantically rich.

And please do not lecture me on semantics. I have participated in the 
creation of
plenty of semantically rich SGML and XML languages. I understand and appreciate
the value of rich and rigorous encoding. But HTML left that port a long 
time ago.


Received on Saturday, 14 April 2007 16:10:02 UTC

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