[whatwg] Re: About XHTML 2.0

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Jun 10 02:44:19 PDT 2005

Matthew Raymond wrote:

> > But the point is that HTML does such an
>> astonishingly poor job of marking up fiction (and a wide variety of 
>> other document types too, no doubt) that arguing over whether 
>> seperators should be empty elements or not is just semantic 
>> navel-gazing.
>   No, because the extensive use of separators, particularly <hr>, in 
> web pages clearly show that people are accustom to the concept. 
> Therefore, dropping the entire concept of separator elements increases 
> the learning curve and makes the use of CSS a requirement for having 
> separators in the first place.

Note I expressed no opinion on whether seperators as a concept are good 
or not, only the opinion that arguments over their precise form are 
worthless. Ultimatley the absolute worst that can happen, even if an 
author fails to use a semantic seperator and instead uses a graphic or 
somesuch is that people using speech browsers miss out on a two-second 
pause between sections and people using a text only browser fail to see 
"* * *". Annoying? Yes, a little. Earthshatteringly awful? No, not 
really. Given that the total absence of a seperator is at worst 
irritating, protracted discussion about how best to represent them in 
markup is unnecessary.

> > Where are all the
>> people using AJAX (Worst. Name. Ever.) but going "oh I could do all 
>> this cool stuff if only I had  feature X"?
>    Anyone skilled enough to use AJAX is skilled enough to implement 
> most of the features they want using DHTML. That isn't to say that 
> they aren't asking for "cool stuff", as I haven't exactly been polling 
> people on the subject, but it's clear that demand for new markup is 
> less likely to come from those with the skills to implement similar 
> functionality on their own.

Well, they could hardly implement XMLHttpRequest in DHTML. That's sort 
of thing that makes new applications happen. There must be things that 
people are having to hack around now that have an elegant solution 
(indeed the spec already has a few examples - server sent DOM events, 
canvas, the DOMContentLoaded event (though I can't see that in the spec 
text yet...) and a few others.) Where are the ideas like those?

"But if science you say still sounds too deep,
Just do what Beaker does, just shrug and 'Meep!'"

-- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker of Muppet Labs

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