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Re: Evolution of a markup language: replace recurringpatterns

  • From: Stephen Green <stephengreenubl@gmail.com>
  • To: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 15:37:52 +0000

Re:  Evolution of a markup language: replace recurringpatterns
How about AJAX? By definition it is Javascript related to XML running
in a browser.
Also there is the foundation of AJAX, the XMLHttpRequest. AJAX has a clear
evolution from awkward Javascript through to more developer-friendly APIs like
ATLAS and eventually to incorporation into declarative languages like ASP.NET.
Interestingly the latter resides on the server so this might be more
evidence of the
historical resistence in browsers to making XML-handling easier for developers.
Even the XMLHttpRequest might have died a death unnoticed if it weren't for a
few influencial people and companies bringing it to the attention of developers:
My guess is many browser guys would have preferred its death than give weight to
the use of XML in a browser. If browser people liked the idea of XML
in a browser
why didn't they make it easier to use XMLHttpRequests directly/natively and also
why did it never evolve within HTML? Surely something so pervasive as AJAX
deserves incorporation into HTML but instead it gets to evolve in the
server-side
products like ASP.NET (or was it that server product vendors
influenced this???).
----
Stephen D Green



On 22 December 2010 14:50, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
>
> In this book [1] the author says that the members of the HTML5 working group have identified recurring JavaScript patterns and then created corresponding markup:
>
>   When JavaScript was introduced into web browsers, it
>   was immediately seized upon for two tasks: Image rollovers
>   and Form enhancements. When CSS came along with its
>   :hover pseudo-class, web designers no longer needed to reach
>   for JavaScript just to achieve a simple rollover effect.
>
>   This is a recurring trend. If a pattern is popular enough, it
>   will almost certainly evolve from requiring a scripted solution
>   to something more declarative.
>
>   ...
>
>   Following the same migratory pattern from scripted to declarative
>   solutions, the [HTML5] specification introduces many new form
>   enhancements.
>
>   ...
>
>   HTML5--it's paving a cowpath ...
>
>
> Another way of saying this is: HTML5 has migrated imperative code to declarative markup.
>
> This is exciting.
>
>
> The book gives this example of migrating imperative code to declarative markup:
>
>    Here's a common DOM Scripting pattern, often used for
>    search forms:
>
>    1. When a form field has no value, insert some placeholder text into it.
>
>    2. When the user focuses on that field, remove the placeholder text.
>
>    3. If the user leaves the field and the field still has no value, reinstate the
>       placeholder text.
>
>    In an HTML5 document, you can simply use the placeholder attribute:
>
>    <input id="hobbies" name="hobbies" type="text" placeholder="Owl stretching">
>
>
> The HTML language is evolving by diligently observing usage patterns and then creating equivalent markup. Thus, there is a slow but steady progression away from the need for imperative code to declarative solutions.
>
> Cool.
>
> How has XML evolved? Can you cite examples of where usage patterns have been observed and then equivalent declarative solutions have been provided?
>
> /Roger
>
> [1] "HTML5 For Web Designers" by Jeremy Keith, p. 40-43.
>
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