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

At 2003-01-05T01:58-0600, Shelby Moore wrote:-

> At 10:00 PM 1/4/2003 -0800, Sandy Moss wrote:

> >1. Tim Berners-Lee has stated, in no uncertain terms,
> >that the semantics of a specification should not and
> >indeed _cannot_ be orthgonal to the implementation.
> Of course this is true and I emphatically agree.  This is what I have been
> arguing for.  Thanks for supporting my argument.
> Semantics is controlled by implementation (not orthogonal).  I agree with that.

That's not what the quoted text means. Non-orthogonality implies that the
two things are not entirely independent, and no more. The above would be
satisfied, for example, by "implementation is influenced by semantics",
which should clearly be true.

> [...]
> >2. If we assume for the sake of argument that
> >semantics are _not_ completely controlled by
> >specifications,

> > then user agents would have at least
> >partial normative control.  This would probably lead
> >to the orthogonal (if not direct) deterioration of the
> >web, which is equally inconceivable.

I have no idea what "orthogonal deterioration" might mean. Please could
Sandy elaborate?

> Note an error in your logic.  If semantics is not orthogonal to implementation
> (as you assert above and I agree), and specification is not orthogonal to
> semantics (per you implication that normative _control_ in UAs is
> "inconceivable"),

As long as the specification supplies some semantics, the two will not be

>                   then this would mean that specification is not orthogonal to
> implementation.

The conclusion is true, but does not follow from the two stated
postulates. In fact it still does not follow if you delete any or all of
the three instances of "not".

> We may desire for specification to be non-orthogonal to implementation, but the


> reality is that implementation non-conformance exists.  Thus it follows that

But this does not imply orthogonality of implementation and specification,
only (at most) the possibility of orthogonality. An "implementation" that
completely ignored the specification would almost certainly be both
non-conforming and useless.

> semantics is (_some_ times) orthogonal to specification.  That is essentially
> my Axiomatic Proof[2].

Semantics can be orthogonal to specification only when the specificaton
supplies no semantics. This is certainly possible, but is not the case
with HTML.

Tim Bagot

Received on Sunday, 5 January 2003 09:07:01 UTC