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Re: The self-describing web...

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 09:45:55 -0500
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <877j9g3vbw.fsf@nwalsh.com>
/ Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu> was heard to say:
| 1. It's not at all clear to me where you're going with this, or what you
| hope to achieve.

I'm attempting to articulate a response to the xmlFunctions-34[1] issue.
I'm also trying to see where consensus lies on the issue because the
XProc WG needs to write something about it[2].

| 2. I'm not sure I believe it's productive to attempt to standardize,
| define, or otherwise mandate any particular interpretation of information
| content in XML. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't believe that.) I tend to
| think we should not define any approach to determining what information
| content can be understood from an XML document, whether grounded in the Web
| or not, whether XML-functions or not. Different consumers of the same XML
| documents are likely to have different understandings of those documents
| based on their own needs and experiences, and that's OK. In fact, it's more
| than OK. It's reality, whatever the specs say.

I'm inclined to agree with you, but there is not consensus on that position.

| Bottom line: the reader of a document is ultimately responsible for
| understanding the document. Different readers will understand different
| things. The document author cannot force the reader to understand any
| particular thing. Author's intent does not outweigh the reader's
| presumption.

Indeed. But if we assume that most authors are not malicious and most
readers don't carry around pernicious assumptions, I see some appeal
in the notion of being able to follow your nose and usually find what
the author intended.

                                        Be seeing you,
                                          norm

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/issues.html?type=1#xmlFunctions-34
[2] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/xml-processing-model-wg-charter.html#xml-scope

-- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM / XML Standards Architect / Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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Received on Wednesday, 4 January 2006 14:46:01 UTC

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