[whatwg] Authoring Re: several messages about HTML5

Adrian Sutton adrian.sutton at ephox.com
Sun Feb 25 14:33:20 PST 2007

> Well, not *think* as in "make it hard", no :) It needs to be as
> 'natural' as
> possible[*]. Still, part of what people consider "natural" is what
> they're
> used to. I don't think we should be too afraid to offer an authoring
> tool
> that works a little different from what people are used to (yet no
> than
> necessary). People used to not be used to cars and telephones, but
> did
> get used to them and find them very natural now.

Well, you can try and see what users think of it. For better or worse,
forcing people to learn is not a popular option for users or integrators
of editors. In many cases there isn't a big enough pay off to learn how
to use a semantic editor - for cars, driving is so much easier than
walking that people are prepared to invest a lot of time into learning,
I doubt you can get that big a pay off from a semantic editor. 

> [*] ATAG 1.0 makes some good points about this: don't bother the user
> unnecessarily. But it doesn't conclude to just let the user mess
> The
> challenge is to subtly guide the user, without getting in his way.

Agreed. If you can introduce a high level of semantics in this style it
should work. The challenge is doing it. Again though, don't let me
discourage people from trying - I'm always looking for ways to help
users drive more value out of their documents including, among other
things, leveraging the semantic aspects of HTML better.

> > If you haven't already, you will come to learn that users think
> visually
> >and they are and probably will always be more interested in their
> content
> >looking good right there in front of them than on it being all nice
> and
> >semantic.
> Depends on the user. The spectrum ranges from those who only care
> structure and semantics (perfectly happy with "black text on a grey
> background") to those who only care about looks. The majority is
> somewhere
> inbetween.

My experience is that the vast majority of users are much closer to only
caring about what it looks like than caring about semantics. If you can
make it semantic and pretty, you've got a winner.

> Sander Tekelenburg


Adrian Sutton.

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