W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > February 1997

Re: 1.5: Discuss link characteristics?

From: David Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 13:57:43 -0500
Message-Id: <v02130504af2669f5d3b4@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 4:42 AM 2/11/97, Henry S. Thompson wrote:
>Oh yes, a further point that arises in response to David's response:
>I wrote:
>>  >although we need to clearly
>>  >distinguish between
>>  >
>>  >1) intrinsic XML semantics for links, i.e. termini, participation, etc.;
>>  >2) XML Application (in the strict SGML sense of 'application')
>>  >   semantics, e.g. the bilingual alignment example above;
>>  >3) Implemented application behaviour
>>  >
>>  >we are only in the business of specifying (1).
>David replied:
>>  And we need to specify clearly what is involved in binding 1 -> 2 and 3.
>But note that historically by far and away the most common language
>for defining large-A Applications is NATURAL language---English,
>German, Japanese, whatever.  I expect somewhere someone has used, for
>instance, Z to formally specify an SGML Application, but that's the
>exception rather than the rule.  So (2) is really Not Our Problem.

You are right. I misread your clearly written note. The "semantics of SGML
applications" is indeed undefined in a CS sense. We do need to specify a
mapping from 1 -> 3.

I agree that we will need a way to invoke user-interaction, and a way to
invoke general code. I am very unconvinced that these should be totally
combined. HTML's forms, ugly as they are, get a big win in unsability on
all platforms because their "declarative formatting" is abstract enough to
map to native UI widgets on all platforms -- and also allows meaningful
rendering for handicapped users and meaningful analysis by programs --
things that raw java code does not allow. (Java does have the AWT, so it
gets the UI benefits, but that is not useful to a blind user).

So I think that Java, Javascript, and whatever other general programming
languages may also need to be supplemented by some standard behaviors that
can be mapped usefully everywhere. This will also help the many web-noids
who have critical graphic design and interaction design skills, but no
ability to program.

  -- David

David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Tuesday, 11 February 1997 13:56:52 UTC

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