[whatwg] Why not JavaScript?

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Jun 9 20:25:03 PDT 2004

On Thu, 10 Jun 2004, liorean wrote:
> Document versus application:
> This distinction I feel is pretty clear. A document is a single content
> instance, which means data, possibly with presentational hints, behavior
> and functionality attached to it, but everything essentially only
> related to the content. An application on the other hand is user
> interface, with less connection to content and more connection to user
> interaction and handling of user input that is not content related. What
> this essentially means is that it handles I would call perishable
> interactions, that are not persistent in a content instance, which they
> would be in the document.

I think there is no distinction. It's a spectrum, with "document" at one
end (pure text maybe with semantic markup, no hyperlinks, no forms, like
this e-mail) and "application" at the other end (sophisticated UI, high
levels of interaction, like Microsoft Word or Quake III Arena). See also
the start of http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1086052347&count=1 .

The scope of WHATWG's work is everything from where "documents" stop being
pure text to about half-way along the road to fully-fledged sophisticated
UI applications.

The reason for not addressing the hugely complicated UI stuff is discussed
in http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1086387609&count=1 (search for "detailed spec
problem") or in http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1086158925&count=1 (search for
"Second:"). Basically, you wouldn't be able to specify the API for such an
application framework given the rate at which toolkit vendors innovate at
the moment.

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

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