[whatwg] RDFa is to structured data, like canvas is to bitmap and SVG is to vector
danbri at danbri.org
Sun Jan 18 02:28:24 PST 2009
On 18/1/09 00:24, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> No. However, most of the time, when people publish HTML, they do it to
> elicit browser behavior when a user loads the HTML document in a browser.
Most users of the Web barely know what a browser is, let alone HTML.
They're just putting information online; perhaps into a closed site (eg.
facebook), perhaps into a public-facing site (eg. a blog), or perhaps
into 1:1, group or IM messaging (eg. webmail). HTML figures in all these
scenarios. Browsers or HTML rendering code too, of course. But I don't
think we can jump from that to claims about user intent, and more than
their use of the Internet signifies an intent to have their information
chopped up into packets and transmitted according to the rules of TCP/IP.
The reason for my pedantry here is not to be argumentative, but just to
suggest that this (otherwise very natural) thinking leads us to forget
about the other major consumers of HTML - search engines. Having their
stuff found and linked by other is often a big part of the motivation
for putting stuff online. HTML parsing is involved, impact on the needs
and interests of mainstream users is involved; but it's not clear
whether all/any/many users 'do it to elicit search engine behaviour when
indexing the HTML document'.
Aren't search engines equally important consumers of HTML? Perhaps
they're more simple-minded in their behaviour than a full UI browser.
But from the user side, there's only slightly more value in being
readable without being findable than vice-versa...
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