Re: The Complexity Argument (was: Re: Request to publish HTML+RDFa (draft 3) as FPWD)

I believe the disagreement about whether HTML5+RDFa/Microdata is 'too 
complex' is bogged down because of a failure to first ask and settle 
the question: "Too complex for who?"

In other words who exactly is the "regular web author" that Manu 
Sporny was talking about here:

>> To look at this another way, one could claim that HTML5, Javascript,
>> canvas, or SVG is too complex for regular web authors.

To which Ian Hickson replied:

> Yeah, they are. We've spent a huge part of the effort on HTML5 trying to 
> simplify as much as we could while still being compatible with the 
> trillion or so deployed HTML pages. 

To understand what is are acceptable amounts and types of complexity, 
from my perspective it seems useful to see what happens if we first 
split "regular web authors" into:
     a) people who produce their own content that they wish to have 
distributed (or sold) via web pages, versus
     b) web-page coders who code to support other people's content 
(usually as a profession).

After doing this, it appears to me that the complexity of HTML5, 
relative to HTML4, is a significant new burden on the "a" group, with 
the result that HTML5 could cause a large shift in HTML authoring 
towards the professional coders.

I was trying to develop these ideas for discussion in bug 7546 [1] and 
a recent TAG post [2]. Unfortunately (somewhat rashly I thought) 
yesterday Ian changed bug 7546 to "RESOLVED" "INVALID". Two steps 
forward, one step back. ;-) .

Steven Rowat



Received on Sunday, 20 September 2009 00:48:41 UTC