Re: XBL is (mostly) W3C redundant, and CSS is wrong W3C layer for semantic behavior *markup

>>>>> First, we are not only talking about HTML elements. XBL has the
>>>>> ability to bind semantics to new tags. There is no specification
>>>>> for those new tags.
>>>> And therefore those new tags have no semantics, no meaning.
>>> Thanks for writing that. I hope everyone reads that. New tags have
>>> no meaning according to Ian Hickson.
>> That is correct.
>I too agree with this position.

I can find no evidence to support this position, but there is evidence from Tim
Berners-Lee which suggests that both you and Ian are wrong:


>> People should not be sending any elements that have no predefined
>> normative semantics over the network.
>> This is one of the fundamental cornerstones of accessible Web design.
>Again, strongly agreed.

Again Tim Berners-Lee disagrees with you (he is against centralized semantics): 

Since Tim Berners-Lee founded the W3C, and since he is the main driving force
behind Semantic Web, I think you better yield to his expertise.

>>> Need I say any more? Why would any one markup a page with tags that
>>> have no meaning?
>> That is a question very well worth asking, and one which has often
>> been overlooked by the XML groupies who jump on the bandwagon as it
>> goes past.
>So true.  Very sad, but true.  Not just XML groupies, but self-proclaimed
>so-called XML experts who have written books on the subject have made (are
>making) this mistake as well.
>You might say there is even the potential for XML to enable a "destruction
>of the tower of babel" like scenario - with thousands of non-interoperable
>languages springing forth which communicate some implied (but unspecified)
>level of meaning among their micro-communities, but which actually destroy
>communication across communities.

Actually Tim Berners-Lee argues that centralization is what causes failure: 

>>> I can't fathom where you get the idea that someone can or would
>>> author a web page without having some clue what the tag meanings
>>> are.
>I know, isn't it incredible?  I can't fathom that someone can or would
>author HTML without having read the HTML4 (or any HTML) specification.  I
>can't imagine that anyone would use <b> tags to mean heading, and <br> tags
>to mean paragraph separator (which are of course, not the "meanings", if
>any, of the <b> and <br> tags).  Where could you possibly get the idea that
>people would do such things?

Sort of proves my point doesn't it?

Specification is not all powerful.

>>> I suggest you re-read the ENTIRE thread, therein you will find some
>>> of my thoughts on this.
>Shelby, the email medium is very poor for representing the depth and
>richness of your thoughts on this.


>  It is unreasonable to ask and/or expect
>Ian or anyone else to re-reread the ENTIRE thread to try to understand your
>I have tried to read every email on this thread all the way through as they
>were posted, and *I* have lost track of the number of different points being
>made, and the latest "debate status" of each.  Perhaps I am simply too
>intellectually inferior to keep up.  I get the feeling that I am not the
>only member of this list who is starting to "tune out" of this thread.
>I suggest for everyone's benefit (including your own) that you instead
>summarize your points in a online essay (hosted at your website), titled
>something appropriate, like:

My summary posts (read in this order):


Last summary post of XSLT and XBL differences (conceptual example):

Near last summary post of XSLT and XBL differences:

Key summary:

First post:



>If you really care about getting your point across to the W3C community, you
>care about making your point accessible to as many members of the W3C
>community as possible.  A well written richly semantically marked up* essay
>would serve this purpose far better than the current prolonged email
>dialogue for this topic.

Phew, I do not think I could manage at this time.  My posts above should
suffice for now.  If XBL gets momentum to becoming a standard (and especially
under CSS group) then I may consider doing as you suggest.  Then again, I may
just be too busy.

I make money implementing, not writing specifications.  My only goal was to
share info and find out if there were any major holes in my logic.  Now that I
understand Ian's disagreement, and now that I have proven his definition of
semantics is not supported by references on web, then I feel confident I have
gotten what I wanted out of this exchange.

I think I can let this standard as my final response on this thread.  Hopefully
in some months, with links to commercial examples in XSLT (running on all
browsers in 2003! :-)

-Shelby Moore

Received on Friday, 3 January 2003 17:02:07 UTC