W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2007

Re: HTML5 script start tag should select appropriate content model according to src

From: Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 22:37:29 +0200 (CEST)
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
cc: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <tkrat.fd188b2bda97e53e@greytower.net>

On 23 Apr, Henri Sivonen wrote:

>>   No, it is part of the presentation. The acid test apply: if you
>>   remove the italics, will the content /still/ be "Latin"? If
>>   yes, then the italics is presentational, and vice versa: if you
>>   make a word italics, is it then also Latin? If not, then it
>>   isn't structural.
> If italics didn't carry any signal, why would authors use italics?

  Italics is a way to *represent* semantics - it is not semantic
  in itself - unless you define it to be. That's why giving an
  element which was previous defined as "no semantics, lots of
  presentation", a semantic interpretation.

>>   Philip is, in such a case, not alone in making that assumption
>>   I would be quite interested in hearing you explain
>>   what 'semantic markup' is good for if not for /semantics/.
> Semantics in and of themselves are not interesting unless they  
> address problems posed by real use cases.

  /Real/ use cases, yes. Not "use cases WHATWG doesn't agree with".
  This might sound harsh, but /that/ is /not/ a route we want to take.
  Well, it's certainly not a route /I/ want to take.

  Yes, I can come up with several use cases. You shot down one of them
  in a previous mail.

  I /still/ want to be able to write data mining tools which are able to
  tell the difference between <latin name for cat> and <italic font>,
  and the WA1 is not helping.

  Here's the bottom line:

   * If there is no use case for <latin name of cat> because people have
     no interest in marking documents up that way, then there is
     similarly no use case for <i> to be used for the same purpose, and
     we can safely toss it out as presentational.

   * If, however, there IS a use case for marking up <latin name of cat>
     then there is no point in using <i> for the purpose, since it has
     in the past /not/ been used for it, but rather for presentation.
     The amount of truly amazing cat names that would result is

   * If <i> /had/ been used, hopefully consistently, to mean <latin name
     of cat> in the wild, and in the past, then there would be use case
     for the tool I described (yes! I, for one, want to be able to
     automatically extract information from documents. I'm not alone.)
     *but it will require unambiguous and semantic markup to function.

   * <i> /has not/ in the past been used to mark up <latin name of cat>
     in anything but very rare, exceptionally rare, cases. A tool cannot
     tell "something which is italic" and "something which is the latin
     name of a cat" apart - even if WHATWG says they should.

  So let's ditch <i>. This discussion is long overdue for pushin' up of

> If you've got all conceivable media covered, what would you use the  
> semantics for? Do you have realistic data mining use cases in mind  
> where the content producers would have the incentive to help the data  
> miner and not lie?

  I can't answer the above question; I frankly don't understand it. If
  there is no incentive, then DIV and SPAN is ALL we need, and we can
  get on with life pretty quickly.

>>   that specify it to have a semantic meaning which people, again
>>   according to yourself, have no interest in using?
> To sprinkle disguising semantic pixie dust to sooth the concerns of  
> anti-presentationalists, I guess.

  That's a peculiar comment. How does it relate to the specification of
  a structural language, and what's a "anti-presentationalist"?

>>   This is a /very/ minor issue, but important, and should have been
>>   out of the WA1 long before now - and certainly shouldn't be a
>>   basis for a new version of HTML!
> How do you expect the spec to have been shaped to your liking without  
> you participating in the process on the WHATWG list?

  I /expect/ it to be shaped by my participation, alongside others, in
  the /standardization organization/ tasked with creating it the
  specification. Trust me when I say I've been as critical against
  specifications that /are/ maintained by the W3C, the WCAG 2 in

  I do /not/ expect the W3C to simply take aboard a document created by
  an industry group and in rather dire need of revision. It's not good
  enough. It has the entirely wrong focus, has started off on the wrong
  foot, is huge, unwieldy, and - my personal view - badly written.

  At this point in time I suggest we start with 4.01 Strict, toss out
  deprecated elements and *everything presentational* merge the good
  ideas from WA1, and start with the resulting draft.

 -       Tina Holmboe                           Greytower Technologies
       tina@greytower.net                      http://www.greytower.net
        +46 708 557 905
Received on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 20:37:33 UTC

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