[whatwg] Seperation of Content and Interface

Joshua Wise joshua at joshuawise.com
Sun Jul 11 13:46:46 PDT 2004

Hash: SHA1

> Why do you think that if yet another new language was created, people
> would switch to _that_, and stop using the "old way"? (Why do you think
> people are still using the "old way" instead of XHTML, XForms, etc?)

The reason that I tend to think of immediately is that CSS has a fundamentally 
different syntax from [X]HTML. It requires more learning., and for minimal 
benefit. This approach makes life easier, not harder. I guess an appropriate 
comparison would be using a material editor in a 3D modeler and applying 
already made materials as opposed ot du[plicating themb y making your own, 
for each model that you want to apply it to.

> > * HTML and CSS do not enforce the layout/content boundary.
> HTML4 Strict enforces it as much as possible. I don't really know how you
> can force people to do something that they don't want to do...

Make it impossible to do otherwise. Remove the features of the <table> element 
that allow you to do such perverse stuff. BGCOLOR? What's that?

Additionally, make it easier to do layout, instead of forcing the programmer 
to convolute their code into such a form that it is entirely uneditable 
without breaking spacing. Make them want to do it.

> Yeah, we're looking at resolving this in Web Apps 1, with tags like
> <navigation>.
Excellent. That's a step forward, but it still allows the user to place 
<navigation> arbitrarily on their page. Why not do something like this:

<page absolute="/index" title="Main Page" id="index" />
<page absolute="/foo" title="Foo" etc="This has information about foo." 
id="foo" />
<group title="Archives" dir="/archives">
<page absolute="/archives/mailinglists" tiitle="Mailing lists" />

and force the user to put a <page id="index"> at the top to identify the page. 
Then, in the .layout template, the user could have the title shown in the 
title bar as "Your Site: Main Page".

Additionally, that would provide for screen readers and the like to be able to 
say "You are here. The parent node is x. There are y child nodes. There are 
also z siblings."


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Joshua Wise | www.joshuawise.com
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