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

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 13:49:35 +0100
Message-ID: <4634945F.2000208@splintered.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

Henri Sivonen wrote:

> Depends on who "we" is. One common criticism of Web spec development is 
> that the specs are too focused on browsers and hand-authoring and do not 
> take editing applications into account sufficiently. When you start 
> listening to authoring tool vendors, you'll find that they say their 
> customers expect presentational things.

And they could still provide those presentational things, just not when 
editing in HTML5 mode. Or is it unreasonable to expect that if a user 
wants, at all cost, to build something with the new spec, that there's a 
bit of onus on them to understand why, all of a sudden, their authoring 
tool gives them more semantic options in preference of pure wysiwyg 
"visual design" options.

> I think the key realization is that PDF vs. TEI/DocBook is a false 
> dichotomy. There's something useful between fully presentational formats 
> and formats that encode detailed semantics. HTML is somewhere between 
> those extremes and it is a good thing that it is there.

But why, considering that CSS support is already quite mature in the 
current ecosystem?

> Whenever this topic is discussed, it turns out that the kind of people 
> who are interested enough in semantic markup to discuss it cannot among 
> themselves agree which abbreviations are acronyms. To me, this indicates 
> that it is utterly unrealistic to expect casual authors who don't 
> participate in these debates to get the distinction "right".

Which is why the spec needs to pin it down to something reasonably 
common, and the authoring tools these users use need to present the 
decisions of the spec in as user-friendly and obvious way as possible.

> In the real world, HTML is used as the application language as well.

But is that for lack of better alternatives?

> Making everyone stop and adopt something from scratch is not realistic 
> given the network effects of installed base on the Web.

The installed base can carry on doing what they want in their own 
special interpretation/perversion of HTML 4.01 if they so desire.

> But why? That sounds like an axiomatic "rich semantics are better".

And your argument sounds like "no benefits have come from the stunted 
and limited tidbits of semantics that are present in HTML 4.01, so why 
should we add more semantics, since nobody's bothered to build anything 
useful based on the limited options they were initially given 
anyway"...which to me gets cause and effect mixed up.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
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Received on Sunday, 29 April 2007 12:49:43 UTC

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