[whatwg] markup as authored in practice

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Sat Dec 2 09:12:05 PST 2006

Elliotte Harold wrote:
> I don't believe most web documents are hand authored any more. Consider 
> that essentially every page generated by Blogger, Moveable Type or 
> WordPress is not hand authored. Almost every page at sites like 
> Amazon.com or walmart.com is not hand authored. Hand authoring is a 
> distinct minority on the web today.

OK, so how many of those sites produce well formed code? If the tools 
will save us all, why hasn't it happened yet? As I said, tool authors 
prioritize their budget for things other than well-formnedness of the 
output - things that will actually benefit the tool users and site 
customers. Moreover, XML is an entirely unacceptable risk for any 
business - it's too easy to accidentally transmit malformed data and 
knock the site out. Why do that when you have the option of using a UA 
mode that supports error recovery?

>> Out in the real world, not everyone gives a shit about markup 
>> standards, but that doesn't certainly doesn't mean that their content 
>> isn't worth viewing. For example, the majority of people who are 
>> likely to want to publish mathematics on the web are professional 
>> scientists or engineers. However, in my experience, the fraction of 
>> such people who are competent to reliably produce valid XML is 
>> tiny[1]. By insisting on XML you are effectively preventing these 
>> people from publishing in their field of expertise. The same is 
>> presumably true of artists and SVG - even if they have tools to 
>> produce all of the graphics, how many will be able to keep the 
>> surrounding XHTML document well formed, much less valid? 
> I work with these folks on a regular basis. Those that aren't competent 
> to do this all use DreamWeaver anyway; that is when they aren't 
> designing sites that are just one big Flash app.

I'm totally lost about your point. You seem to have changed from saying 
"producing valid XML is easy - any non-bozo can do it" to "well it's not 
easy but the tools will save us all".

"The universe doesn't care what you believe. The wonderful thing about 
science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your 
eyes" --- http://xkcd.com/c154.html

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