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From: Markus Ernst <derernst@gmx.ch>
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2008 11:22:02 +0100
Message-ID: <491173CA.9070506@gmx.ch>
Pentasis schrieb:
>>
>> The HTML5 spec is open to feedback from linguists, typographers and 
>> content creators. I would agree we should particularly give  
>> consideration to people with those backgrounds with regards to issues  
>> of semantics. On the other hand, there is not total freedom here  
>> because some choices will result in conflict with Web compatibility 
>> or  with practical implementation concerns.
>>
>> Do you have any specific concerns about the current spec? That would  
>> be more useful than criticizing the design process in the abstract.
>>
> 
> I would be more than willing to do so, but only if these ideas are taken 
> seriously and we can have a civil, open dicussion about it without going 
> into defensive  mode or side-arguments.
> First of all, I want to make it absolutely clear that these ideas are 
> strictly dealing with context and semantics. I do not wish to interfere 
> in the technical part of the spec. I do understand that sometimes there 
> are ideas that may involve technical solutions. My first and foremost 
> concern is about having a specification that deals with the naming of 
> elements and their usage in such a way that this would give us a 
> standard which will enable us to markup content consistantly and 
> flexibally without ambiguity, and which is flexible enough to act 
> on-the-fly (so we don't have to wait for the next version of the spec if 
> something is missing).
> also, please keep in mind I am not a native english speaker. I sometimes 
> have difficulty explaining exactly what I mean. If something is unclear, 
> just say so.
> Finally, the ideas portrait below are just that. Ideas. I don't feel 
> strongly about the actual ideas themself, but I do feel strongly about 
> the mechanism they represent.

[ideas snipped]

If I understand you correctly, you suggest a very basic set of 
structural elements, which are to be flexibally qualified by the authors 
via the class attribute. The composition of that set should follow some 
kind of basic language logic.

If I understand HTML correctly, it provides a limited set of 
pre-qualified elements, some of them with a more structural emphasis, 
some of them with a more semantic (or or even presentational) one. The 
composition of that set does not follow a higher logic, but the everyday 
needs of the common web author (or what the writers of the spec assume 
this is).

(I hope this is understandable; I am not a native English speaker, either.)

So, supposed I got these both correctly, you do not really talk about 
HTML, but about an alternative approach of marking up text documents. I 
personnally find thinking about alternative approaches very interesting 
and useful for opening up one's mind.

I agree with you that there are many things in HTML that have a purely 
historic legitimation, such as the h1-h6 elements. <h level="n"> would 
be much more flexible. I personnally often get mad about the IMO totally 
unlogic set of form elements. I would highly appreciate such thigs to be 
cleaned up in a new HTML spec. But of course the task ot those who 
design HTML5 is not to re-invent the wheel, but to evolve the existing 
HTML in a highly backwards-compatible way.

I made the experience when I suggested a new set of form elements, that 
I did not get much response on those contributions. The same might 
happen to your suggestions, as they are on a more basic level, than the 
HTML5 works act on. I don't think you can blame the people working on 
HTML5 for this, as they are quite far in the process, and your 
suggestions do rather set new starting points, than contribute to the 
acutal state of the work.
Received on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 02:22:02 UTC

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