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Re: semantics [was Re: Proposed Design Principles updated]

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 12:03:46 -0500
To: "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Cc: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <1175706226.18153.339.camel@dirk>

-cc public-html; +cc www-archive

On Wed, 2007-04-04 at 10:55 -0400, Dailey, David P. wrote:
> on Tue 4/3/2007 9:44 PM
> Karl Dubost wrote
> "ah the beautiful word 'semantics'... with a diluted meaning because 
> used in many different contexts."
> Agreed. My first encounter of the term in WHATWG coincided with the first time I, as a lurker,  thought I understood an ongoing discussion enough to have an opinion about it. I replied, all cheerfully, with a nice linguistically based argument, only to be informed (quite politely) that that was not the sort of semantics they were talking about. I had just sort of assumed that semantics meant the realm of natural language-related inference-support of a type that might allow a search engine to make sense of what we humans write in our web pages. I think, though, that the term "semantics" in the parsing/interpreter/compiling world is more in keeping with what some folks here mean. 
> Out of curiosity, does anyone interpret our charge or realm as including 
> that substrate of markup that might connect utterances made in HTML to their
>  meanings in some natural-language-inferential-logical sense? It would be
>  rather fun if it did, but perhaps that will be for our next go-round after
>  this particular HTML-N* has been properly enumerated.

I agree that it would be rather fun if it did. It's pretty much my
research focus.

And the TAG discussions of versioning have touched on that sort
of thing. If you can't find them, let me know and I'll try
to find time to dig up the pointers. Henry Thompson has
an action to write something about monotonicity in terms
of the versioning terminology that the TAG is working on,
in particular.

But I doubt many of the HTML WG participants are interested
to discuss things at that level.

> David Dailey

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Wednesday, 4 April 2007 17:03:59 UTC

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