W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2003

Re: Visual Markup (should HTML die?)

From: Jared Warren <warren@cs.queensu.ca>
Date: 23 Feb 2003 19:46:42 -0500
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <1046047602.1262.67.camel@foobox.dyndns.org>

> | Except that the separation between [CSS and HTML]
> | made the job of a site designer much more difficult because it's 
> | necessary to have two documents in mind whenever you create a site: the 
> | HTML and the CSS.
> I think it makes everything easier! Firstly, it allows you to concentrate 
> on the tasks of adding content and styling seperately -- you don't have to 
> worry about what content will look like when you're typing it.
> Secondly, it makes making stylistic changes to a group of pages very 
> simple. If you need to change the background of 500 pages to white from 
> yellow in CSS, you only need to edit one file. If you are using pure HTML, 
> then you need to edit 500 files.

If you haven't noticed, many people write documents in word processors
like Microsoft Word which don't do either of these things. And this is
despite the fact that TeX processing engines have existed for decades.
Personally I don't know how people put up with it (not that I like LaTeX
syntax, but at least it makes style deterministic), but the evidence
shows that your average user prefers WYSIWYG over any sacrifice for
power and convience.

I think XHTML advocates must concentrate their efforts on webpage tool
providers. They could create clean, standards-compliant pages with
slight changes in their applications compared to the legions of
HTML-illiterate "webmasters". The worst thing that can happen is to let
the lazy designers drive application innovation. Case in point:
Macromedia Fireworks, the most henious personification of
non-accessibility the world has ever seen. (I'm not exaggerating:
Fireworks automates the spacer-GIF and nested tables school of layout,
it has to be seen to be believed.)

~ Jared Warren <warren@cs.queensu.ca>
Computing Science, Queen's University
Received on Sunday, 23 February 2003 19:46:49 UTC

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