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Seperating Document Content from Structure (was RE: inline CSS - score so far)

From: David Wagner <dwagner@kevric.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 11:37:02 -0600
Message-Id: <200002231742.MAA11963@tux.w3.org>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
> Murray.Altheim wrote:
> David Wagner wrote:
> [...]
> > One more question reaching further into the future: we are dutifully
> > seperating style from structure and content.  What about seperating
> > document content from its structure?  Any plans for this?
> The role of markup is to perform this task. I don't see how you'd
> separate the markup from the document content, or why you'd want to.
> Perhaps you could clarify?
> Murray

I haven't thought this through in a rigorous manner, but the concept has
tickling me since most of the HTML development at my paying jobs has been to
present content from a database, and it looks like many other websites use
HTML to structure and present external data as well.  I threw
together a straw  document fragment below, which would extract from a
database the element content.  The HTML provides the structure of the
and body elements may be empty or contain other elements, but may not
contain content.  The content comes from a <content> element in the head (as
styling now), or from files, parts of files, database queries, or any other
source of the appropriate type of data.

I hope this clarifies the question.  What do y'all think?  Is seperation of
structure, content, and style a Good Idea? -David

<!-- Straw fragment of HTML with content seperated from structure. -->
<style type="text/RobustStyleSheet">
.warning {background-color:yellow;color:magenta;}
/*Selectors apply styles to classes, elements and parts of
  specific elements, as in the following nonsyntactical example.*/

  ThirdThroughFifthWordOfSecondSentanceOfP#002 {font-weight:bold;}
<h1 id="title" src="dbquery0#record001"/>
<h2 id="sec001" src="dbquery1#record001"/>
 <p id="p001" src="dbquery2?sec=001#record001"/>
 <p id="p002" src="dbquery2?sec=001#record002"/>
 <p id="p003" src="dbquery2?sec=001#record003"/>
<h2 id="sec002" src="dbquery1#record002"/>
 <p id="p004" src="dbquery2?sec=002#record001"/>
 <div class="warning">
  <p id="p005" src="dbquery2?sec=002#record002"/>
  <p id="p006" src="dbquery2?sec=002#record003"/>
 <p id="p007" src="dbquery2?sec=002#record004"/>

The src attribute may, using some syntax, extract
element (text, mixed?) content from various sources such as
databases, other xml documents (using XPOINTER?), text files,
and so on.  The src of an element may even point to an internal
<content> element so UAs get element content the same way it gets
element styling from the <style> element.

Hmm... Another syntax using <content> elements instead of
attributes may be more useful.
 <div class="warning">
  <p id="p005">
   <content src="dbquery2?sec=002#record002"/>
   <a href="boom.html"><content src="dbquery2?sec=002#record003"/></a>
   <content src="dbquery2?sec=002#record004"/>
  <p id="p006"><content src="dbquery2?sec=002#record005"/></p>
Received on Wednesday, 23 February 2000 12:42:24 UTC

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