[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 - what does it extend , definition of same,

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Mon Jan 10 04:15:14 PST 2005

On 10 Jan, 2005, at 9:36 PM, Jim Ley wrote:
> ...
> The GMail page I'm typing on contains layout tables, span, div, b,
> this frame doesn't even contain a title.   Web-applications can never
> with an HTML base contain web-application level semantics

.... Which are two separate issues, because Gmail could be using a 
<title> etc despite being an application.

However, Gmail requires that you log in, so search engine indexing 
isn't an issue; and Gmail engineers have trouble even supporting 
minority browsers 
<https://gmail.google.com/gmail/browser_requirements.html>, let alone 
understanding accessibility (see comments from Joe Clark, Mark Pilgrim 
et al. at <http://fury.com/article/1994.php>); so it's no particular 
*further* loss that Gmail doesn't use semantic markup.

> - a good reason why we shouldn't be looking to take HTML beyond any 
> sort of stop-gap measures, especially when XUL/XAML and more already 
> exist to provide application level mark-up.

And what would be the benefit of that? Most authors don't care about 
semantics. And users do so only rarely (e.g. if they're using 
non-visual UAs) or indirectly (e.g. if they're using search engines). 
So how would any semanticity of XUL/XAML benefit users?

> They could however carry web document semantics to aid non visual 
> understanding, the fact they don't isn't something that needs more 
> specs to help.

How are those issues related? The rest of the Web needn't grind to a 
halt while we wait another decade for Google to fix their markup.

>> If the What-WG's work increases the average fraction of any particular
>> application that is written in HTML or XHTML rather than script and/or
>> arbitary XML, we do benefit.
> Could you please clarify who the we are?  and why we benefit, for
> example if the we is web application authors, then you need to talk in
> terms of reduce development cost,  or reduced testing cost, or better
> result to our users etc.  (I think this is very tough given the
> IE/scripting issue.)  Or if it's web-application consumers, how do
> they benefit.

It is quite impressive for you to have snipped my answer to your 
question and then to have asked it.

Here's the answer again: "We all benefit currently, for example, from 
Amazon's and IMDb's databases showing up in Google search results -- 
which they wouldn't do if written entirely in script and/or FooML. (And 
the application hosts benefit in turn from the search engine traffic.)"

> You're also missing one of the elements, non-arbitrary XML - For 
> example Bill McCoy's RSS reader won't be consuming arbitrary XML.

That's not relevant. We're talking about what applications are written 
in, not about what they consume. (Anyway, the vast majority of RSS 
feeds are alternates of already-indexed HTML documents.)

>>> If the WHAT WG's aim is to discourage what they call street HTML,
>> No member of What-WG has called anything "street HTML", on the WG's
>> site or (except at your insistent prompting) on this mailing list.
> I don't believe I ever used the term before this post, I don't like
> it, I don't think it's a good description of what's out there.  With a
> WhatWG member using it and understanding it though,  I decided it was
> part of the vocabulary and I should use it, maybe you've got my posts
> confused with someone else?
> ...

Yes I had, sorry. Anyway, the What-WG's aim is pretty clearly spelled 
out on their site <http://whatwg.org/charter#deliverables>, and it 
doesn't mention street HTML or any synonym. Again, though, since the 
What-WG specs already substantially disambiguate the HTML and DOM 
specs, if you have any concrete suggestions on how to do that further 
I'm sure they would be considered.

Matthew Thomas

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