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Re: What are the arguments *for* XHTML 2.0?

xhtml 2.0
On Sun, 24 Nov 2002 00:06:40 -0800, Paul Prescod <paul@p...> wrote:

> Between SVG and XForms (to say nothing of RSS, RDF and OWL), the Web standards 
> platform has more functionality than we can swallow in the next several 
> years. If we could get full implementations of SVG, XForms and something 
> like XUL, the Web would be immeasurably more powerful than it is today.

I complely agree.  But for whatever it's worth (and however short term it 
be) proprietary formats and proprietary apps very loosely glued together 
XML seem to be in the ascendency.  I'm somewhat ambivalent -- I'd like the
full power of XML + XUL + SVG + XForms ... but may have to settle for
XML being produced and rendered via something like Flash (and XForms 
implementations running in Flash, and maybe
SVG import-export?) simply because that's where the business models 
actually work.

Sigh, I suppose we're getting into the mother of religious wars here, and I 
don't want
to slam the open source efforts at all or imply that they are doomed or 
As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that the only way we'll get to where 
we want to
be is by a long period of cultivating them.  I'm just talking about the 
short-term reality,
where the "Web" UI innovation (or maybe just deployment) rate is losing out 
to the
proprietary stuff.  So long as we don't go back to the bad old days where 
the data
themselves are proprietary, this may be marginally acceptable to most of us 
XML geeks
and may hit the sweet spot for consumers.

I REALLY hope I'm wrong and that SVG+XUL+XForms are where HTML was in 1994 
so.  But the fact remains that if one were to deploy a rich client app in 
Flash today, it
would run on something like 99% of the browsers out there.  If one were to 
deploy a
XUL+SVG rich client app, it would run on something like 1/10 of 1% of the 
browsers out
there.  I'm all for betting on the underdog, but three orders of 
underdogness magnitude?

So,I'm (very reluctantly) concluding that the short term smart money is on 
Flash; the
long term hope is on the XML-based UI technolgies.  And I very strongly 
agree with
Paul that a necessary condition for us to get to that long term vision is 
for the alternative
browser developers and the XHTML folks to get their heads together, define 
that end users need to have solved, and go out and solve them together.  
Ann will
probably laugh that they can't deprecate a bit of markup without getting 
screamed at,
so how can they do something truly visionary?  I guess I'm saying to ignore 
the screamers;
XHTML 2 as an incremental tweak to XHTML 1 is going to be ignored by 99% of 
users and the dominant browser developer, so why not just focus on the 1% 
and do
something that will amaze them?  


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