W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > March 2012

Re: ACTION 610: Draft Meta Formats section for W3C site

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 23:18:19 -0500
Message-ID: <4F59848B.2070909@arcanedomain.com>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
CC: Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, Jonathan A Rees <rees@mumble.net>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
 > Hasn't there been ample evidence that XML is pretty bad for human
 > authoring?

Maybe. As far as I know, most of the popular mobile phone environments use 
XML-based languages for their UI configuration. I'm thinking of things like 
XAML for Winphone8 and WPF, the Android and Apple UI configuration files 
(exact names escape me), etc. In my experience (which I admit is >very< 
limited), authors tend to use a mix of tools and hand authoring. Some 
authors start with a good example and hack it up, many let the tooling 
handle some of the maintenance but hand author other bits. I expect some 
use emacs.

I've also authored a fair amount of XHTML by hand, and I don't find it much 
harder to do than valid HTML. Which is to say, I routinely make stupid 
mistakes in my first cuts of either, run whichever validator applies, rinse 
& repeat. Of course, the fact that user agents are tolerant is convenient 
when I'm hacking around with the unvalidated stuff, but I'm not convinced 
that authoring clean XHTML is much harder than authoring clean HTML.

Noah

On 3/8/2012 3:31 PM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Thu, 08 Mar 2012 18:47:13 +0100, Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Here's a go at some text for the XML paragraph
>>
>> XML provides a simple standardised way to serialize information
>> representable as labelled trees with annotations and
>> cross-references, allowing a free choice of markup vocabulary. This
>> not only makes it well-suited for human-authored documents,
>> particularly given its facility for mixed content (plain and
>> marked-up text) and built-in support for Unicode, but also means it
>> is a useful syntax for all kinds of machine-to-machine data
>> transfer. XHTML, Docbook and DITA are examples of XML-based
>> languages primarily intended for documents; machine-to-machine uses
>> include UPnP (for networked device discovery) and AEMP (for
>> construction equipment).
>
> Hasn't there been ample evidence that XML is pretty bad for human
> authoring? There's at least plenty of anecdotal evidence from a couple of
> years ago where people have time and again demonstrated how hard it is to
> author and make basic blog software work with it (Mark Pilgrim, Sam Ruby,
> Jacques Distler, ...).
>
>
Received on Friday, 9 March 2012 04:18:48 UTC

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