Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
Stephen Deach wrote: > This whole debate seems to miss several key points: > 1.) Stripping the original semantics is NOT ALWAYS harmful: > a.) Storing any derived form of original content > that strips the semantic meaning MAY be harmful. If one > actually needs the original semantics, it probably is harmful. Agree. > b.) Conversely, almost all books contain significant derived information. > The editing and filtering (authoring) process often ADDS value, > yet it clearly strips all the original semantics. The loss of semantics during a book's editing/proof-reading process is a bug, not a feature. I have recently completed such a process and insisted that the publisher retained semantics in all steps. As a result, the book will probably be available in enriched HTML before it's on paper. (An Adobe product -- FrameMaker -- formed the backbone of this process.) > I can't unconditionally side with a) or with b), it depends on what I am > looking for in producing or in using the document. So, you are saying that publishing formatting objects is the right solution in some cases? > 2.) You can't determine the semantics from a DTD alone, you can only > derive the syntax and the allowed organization (of both elements (records, > fields, objects) and attributes (properties, qualifiers, modifiers, > constraints, values). Correct. That's why my document says: "Publishing semantically rich XML should be encouraged when the semantics is globally known, e.g. MathML. Publishing arbitrary XML should be discouraged."  http://www.operasoftware.com/people/howcome/1999/foch.html > 3.) A tagset (such as XSL's FOs) which is public, stable, and well > understood (with published semantics) is FAR better than a proprietary > encoding or a proprietary tagset (without published semantics). Perhaps, but they're both bad when used on the Web. The right solution is to publish documents in tagsets that are: - globally understood - semantic, rather than presentational > 4.) XML allows the definition of application specific tagsets. XSL's FO > tagset is designed solely for describing paginated and non-paginated > presentations, it is no more dangerous than any other tagset. For reasons outlined in the paper, I believe XFO is much more dangerous than other, more abstract tagsets developed within W3C. I also think it's a significant departure from SGML's tradition of capturing semantics, not presentation. -h&kon Håkon Wium Lie http://www.operasoftware.com/people/howcome howcome@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx simply a better browser XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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