[whatwg] Seperation of Content and Interface

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jul 15 09:48:33 PDT 2004

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004, Joshua Wise wrote:
>> 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.

Do you think that a new tag-based language, with its new element names and
so forth, would be easier to learn than CSS?

If so, why haven't any of the languages that are just that -- e.g. SVG,
XForms, even XHTML -- replaced HTML?

XHTML is in fact a very good example. XHTML1 and HTML4 are almost
identical. Why have virtually no authors switched to XHTML?

>> 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?

HTML4 Strict _did_ remove (most of) those attributes and elements. People
still use HTML4 Transitional.

>> 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.

Authors _want_ to be able to place their navigation anywhere on the page.
If the new technology doesn't let them, they'll just stick with HTML,
which does.

> Why not do something like this:
> <navigation>
> <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" />
> </group>
> </navigation>

This mostly already exists with the <link> element.

> 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."

<link> can also already do this.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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