[whatwg] several messages about XML syntax and HTML5

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Mon Dec 4 06:43:15 PST 2006

Ian Hickson wrote:

>> Consider that essentially every page generated by Blogger, Moveable Type 
>> or WordPress is not hand authored.
> Actually, all those _are_ hand authored. They all use templates that were 
> very carefully written by HTML authors by hand.
>> Almost every page at sites like Amazon.com or walmart.com is not hand 
>> authored.
> Again, most of the HTML on those pages was hand-authored. Sure, it was 
> written in Perl scripts (or whatnot), but it was still, at one point, 
> hand-authored, and not generated by a markup editor like Dreamweaver.

I disagree with your implicit definition of "hand authored". To my way 
of thinking, hand authoring means someone opened a text editor, and 
typed out the static HTML of the page. Furthermore, the same person who 
wrote the content, wrote the markup. If a professional developer wrote 
templates to be used by others, then the pages built from those 
templates aren't hand-authored. However, clearly both exist; so let's 
avoid arguing semantics and instead define two terms:

1. Strong hand-authoring: static HTML written fully in a plain vanilla 
text editor with tags in view
2. Weak hand-authoring: templates hand-authored, content not

My point then becomes, very little content on the web today is strongly 
hand authored, and the proportion continues to decrease.

People who strongly hand author, or who create weakly hand-authored 
systems are competent to create well-formed markup if they choose to do so.

People who merely use weakly hand authored systems do not see the 
markup, and do not need to be considered in our deliberations on this point.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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