Re: [XSL-FO] RE: Formatting Objects considered harmful
- At 09:21 AM 2/20/01 +0100, Richard Liu wrote:
>By the way, sending a browser real-world HTML has most of the disadvantagesRight. And in fact, the "FOs considered harmful" argument shoulod really be
>of sending it FO. Many Web publishers use HTML elements according to how
>they want to page to appear, not according to its content.
taken as "servers delivering FOs are worse than an ideal case in which
semantically rich content is sent over the pipe and transformations happen
client-side", rather than "servers delivering FOs are worse than the status
quo ante, when they're delivering HTML." HTML's semantic capabilities, such
as they are (a class attribute? talk about an afterthought...), are pretty
widely abused when not ignored altogether.
The problem that I see with the argument is that it's too general, and does
not address any of the good counter-examples that one might suggest. Such as:
1. delivering content to a very thin client that will do nothing but
display the data and then throw it away -- but where performance is key.
2. delivering data in scenarios where there are legitimate business reasons
to "dumb down" the data into something less tractable to processing based
on the full semantics of the repository format. If, wearing your Utopian
Idealist hat, you are sceptical that a business might have such legitimate
reasons ("you mean they know the semantics but don't want to share?!?") ...
maybe a brief contemplation on the word "privacy" might give you pause.
I like the creative iconoclasm of the FOs Considered Harmful argument, but
I don't buy it. It's over-general. A statement that "whenever semantic
meta-information exists, it's a shame to withhold it or throw it away"
ought to suffice.
Wendell Piez mailto:wapiez@...
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