[whatwg] Semantic styling languages in the guise of HTML attributes.

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Thu Dec 21 04:54:49 PST 2006

On Dec 21, 2006, at 05:21, Karl Dubost wrote:

> Le 21 déc. 2006 à 00:23, Henri Sivonen a écrit :
>> Actually, structure is communicated to people using presentation.  
>> Presentation isn't just about attractiveness.
> Lao Niu puts his two fingers in the eyes of Henri in a Full contact  
> move. Henri is blind. Henri is trying to kick the legs, and Lao Niu  
> is putting two sharp sticks in Henri's ears. Henri is desperate  
> trying to read the old master tales.

That was uncalled for.

The point is that there are limited ways of communicating data to  
humans. Content needs to be *presented* on visual, aural or tactile  
media in practice. Olfactory and gustative media would have  
hopelessly bad data transfer rates, so it isn't practical to design  
for them.

For human consumers of content, practical device and media  
independence is achieved when there are reasonable presentations for  
realistically applicable media. Moreover, it is just natural that  
authors want to *optimize* for the visual media first with aural and  
tactile media coming as second and a distant third. Also, it seems to  
me that the usefulness of non-heuristic machine consumption of  
semantic roles of things like dialogs, names of vessels, biological  
taxonomical names, quotations, etc. has been vastly exaggerated.  
Therefore, I think the non-presentationalism principle shouldn't be  
taken too dogmatically.

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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