Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Stop Standardizing HTML

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the remember-xhtml-2.0 dept.

Programming 302

pfignaux writes with an interesting view on the place of centralized standardization in modern browsers. From the article: "When HTML first appeared, it offered a coherent if limited vocabulary for sharing content on the newly created World Wide Web. Today, after HTML has handed off most of its actual work to other specifications, it's time to stop worrying about this central core and let developers choose their own markup vocabularies and processing." Instead, the author proposes that CSS, Javascript+DOM, the W3C's accessibility framework, and Web Components are sufficient to implement the rendering of smaller, domain-specific markups.

cancel ×

302 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nope (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537015)

How about "no"?

Re: Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537051)

Agreed, this guy is a whiner.

Re: Nope (5, Funny)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#43537233)

He seemed to me like a proponent of XML. I hope he catches the flu.

Re: Nope (1)

arfonrg (81735) | about a year ago | (#43537403)

If I had mod points, you would get one!

Re: Nope (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43537693)

A flu? Have they been updating the moderation capabilities again?

Re: Nope (2)

simonstl (42816) | about a year ago | (#43537461)

I've had the flu before, but you may be happy that I'm telling XML people similar things: put down the schemas...

Re: Nope (2)

hendridm (302246) | about a year ago | (#43537703)

"His books include XML: A Primer, XML Elements of Style, Cookies, Office 2003 XML, and the XML Pocket Reference."

Re:Nope (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537165)

You mean you don't want to throw out the utter mess that HTML has become and keep the other problems like DOM, Javascript and CSS? I say toss 'em all. But if we do scrap the lot of them we'll be put into another situation where browser companies interpret <insert new standard, language or protocol here> in their own way and take us down this same road.

As long as there are corporate interests to be servered we web developers will be aiming at moving targets on multiple platforms with "close enough" standards compliance. Makes me want to puke.

Re:Nope (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43537317)

close enough standards compliance?

please. Microsoft tries to break standards by introducing their own. Don't blame HTML for that.

Re:Nope (3, Interesting)

cjjjer (530715) | about a year ago | (#43537525)

Since Google is forking Webkit I suspect that they will be doing the same thing in the near future or have not already to make their services work better in the browser.

Re:Nope (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43537727)

As it's in Google and Opera's interest to have an open web, I'd have a closer look at people using the un-forked WebKit as being more likely to not play nice. I'm really hoping everyone keeps working together though. The 'defacto standard' approach seems to be working relatively well so far.

language (5, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#43537037)

There is also a benefit to having people share a common vocabulary, such as communication in broader languages like English, Spanish, etc. I have a hard enough time communicating with people in the same language!

Re:language (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43537427)

well yeah, but standardizing html was always a fantasy.

like, they're playing catch up with the standardizing anyways and arguably it has been proven that browser manufacturers do what the hell(what a product they have in the pipeline depends on!) they want anyways - including google and apple.

Re:language (1)

simonstl (42816) | about a year ago | (#43537489)

Part of the headache is that they're designing during the standardizing process, making their best guesses at what might work.

Part of what I hope might come from this approach is that many people can try a variety things, and then standards can catch up to what actually worked. Browser vendors have sort of done that, but their experiments tend to have much larger consequences.

Yes, by all means! (4, Funny)

clem (5683) | about a year ago | (#43537047)

Stop making our job skills transferable!

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537055)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Money doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html

Javascript (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537059)

I hope there's a special place in Hell for the folks in invented and promoted Javascript.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know use NoSript. Unfortunately, my bank's, broker's, credit union's etc ... websites are unusable without it. And in today's day and age, the web is the only way to do most things now.

Re:Javascript (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537085)

you're a whiney bitch, you know that?

Re:Javascript (2)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43537195)

This isn't some huge problem that hasn't been resolved. Whitelist the sites that actually need it and leave Javascript disabled for all other sites. It's not difficult and it takes only a few moments to do it and reload a site when you need it.

Of course that would require a few minutes of work on your part and you seem to be too busy whining to do it.

Re:Javascript (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#43537269)

Then enable Javascript then and stop bitching. You can even block scripts selectively these days! No one is out to get you, and if you stop using IE6, there won't be nasty code ready to install you a new botnet either.

Search engine support for JavaScript (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43537473)

Then enable Javascript then

Which web search engine supports indexing text added to the DOM by JavaScript? Otherwise, any web site that relies on JavaScript for basic functionality isn't going to get indexed well.

Sure. (0)

sidragon.net (1238654) | about a year ago | (#43537291)

You've just dismissed what is probably one of the most powerful and flexible languages ever put into practice. Congratulations on being impossibly boneheaded.

Re:Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537391)

Javascript should be banshied to the pits of hell whence it came. it is a hateful, spiteful language. It practically mandates poor programming practices.
Give me a better browser language.

To be fair... (3, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | about a year ago | (#43537479)

His point was about web content being more dynamic than he thinks is required. A fair point, nowadays a straightforward web form with very limited scope is frowned upon if it neglects to do some sort of javascript trickery or another. He isn't after *more* capability, he seeks a more constrained experience and to have more developers exhibit a shred of restraint rather than mandate moderately more open ended access to the client facilities for superfluous bells and whistles. If a browser hangs up nowadays, it's almost certainly due to badly written javascript or javascript implementation gone insane in the face of valid javascript. Simplistic content doesn't choke up browsers and in a lot of cases, that simplicistic content model *could* suffice for the purpose. There are cases where javascript can enrich the experience beyond what is reasonable without it, but web developers immediately jump to the deep end without a second thought today.

Now, in terms of 'powerful and flexible', I'd argue that inherently it cannot hold that crown precisely because javascript is restricted from doing things like opening arbitrary filehandles and such. This isn't a bad thing, but it means the claim of 'most powerful' is flawed. Javascript is a popular language not due to having 'the' best set of capabilities or the best syntax (everyone bundles some sort of 'library' precisely to bandaid over javascripts failing at the low level), it's popular by virtue of being ubiquitous.

Very much this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537411)

I hope there's a special place in Hell for the folks in invented and promoted Javascript.

A place in Hell where they are forced to write documents in EBCDIC SGML. And active content in COBOL. With half a Visual Age IDE.

Very much hate these marketing droids.

Re:Javascript (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#43537645)

Unfortunately, my bank's, broker's, credit union's etc ... websites are unusable without it

Then use NoScript and temporarily allow those sites when you need to use them. Or just permanently whitelist them since your are screwed anyway if your banking sites have been compromised with malware.

HTML isn't anymore (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537061)

What was once a standard for rendering text and images together in a single document has suffered from severe scope creep over the years. With the addition of multimedia, HTML crossed the line from static to active content markup, which in my opinion defeated its original purpose. HTML needs an active companion language, an actual programming language, one that will replace the disparate third-party technologies in use today. Just eliminating Flash and Javascript for example would eliminate a vast majority of the world's browsing headaches.

We are so close to a Web-based operating system I can taste it.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (5, Funny)

telchine (719345) | about a year ago | (#43537097)

HTML needs an active companion language, an actual programming language, one that will replace the disparate third-party technologies in use today. Just eliminating Flash and Javascript for example would eliminate a vast majority of the world's browsing headaches.

I agree!

I shall call this new language "Jscript"!

-Bill

Re:HTML isn't anymore (4, Interesting)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about a year ago | (#43537109)

You ask for a companion programming language and at the same time propose eliminating Javascript. I see a contradiction in there.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (0)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#43537231)

He said <cups hands around mouth> "PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE".

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about a year ago | (#43537345)

Yes. Javascript is Turing Complete.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43537435)

So is lambda calculus. There's more than a passing simularity there, too.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#43537455)

So is Conway's Game of Life, that doesn't mean amateurs should be writing code that runs on client's machines with it.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#43537347)

I would like to see your argument for why Javascript is not a programming language. I would especially like to see an argument that doesn't make up arbitrary and personal definitions of "programming language".

Re:HTML isn't anymore (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43537241)

You ask for a companion programming language and at the same time propose eliminating Javascript. I see a contradiction in there.

As someone who uses JavaScript daily, I see no contradiction. Perhaps you've confused it with an programming language?

Re:HTML isn't anymore (5, Funny)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#43537297)

Ok, I'll take the bait. How in the hell is JavaScript *not* a programming language?

1. It is a language
2. I write programs with it

Re:HTML isn't anymore (2, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year ago | (#43537355)

Ok, I'll take the bait. How in the hell is JavaScript *not* a programming language?

1. It is a language 2. I write programs with it

There isn't enough snarky elitism associated with it yet for it to be a "real" programming language. As soon as you can get to the state of natural obfuscation that Perl enjoys, you'll see an uptake with the true nerds.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

Anonymous Cod (2647669) | about a year ago | (#43537385)

JavaSCRIPT is a scripting language.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (0)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43537471)

JavaSCRIPT is a scripting language.

Scripting language (noun) programming language lacking in elitism.

OK for bonus points, please define scripting language, with reference to how interpretation doesn't matter given that there are C++ and even machine code interpreters.

Difference between scripts and programs (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43537543)

A computer program is defined [cornell.edu] as "a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in a computer in order to bring about a certain result," and a programming language defines the syntax and semantics of computer programs. So what makes a scripting language not a programming language? What makes a script not a computer program? For all I can see, JavaScript is like Lua and Python: a dynamically typed programming language that is transmitted over the wire in source code form.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#43537395)

The only reason I could possibly see for someone saying that Javascript is not a programming language is that it is interpreted and generally only runs within an application (a web browser). Given the rise of Node.js, that distinction isn't necessarily true anymore, and Javascript is essentially in the same boat as other interpreted languages, or in my opinion, even JIT compiled languages.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43537491)

, and Javascript is essentially in the same boat as other interpreted languages, or in my opinion

These days, other interpreted languages includes machine code and C++.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43537587)

I agree, one could argue that of it requires a separate program to run it, rather than being compiled to a program, it could be called something else. Though personally, I believe that of It's Turing complete it is a programming language. The language remains the same whether compiled or interpreted, so I'd think that's a silly distinction to classify a language (additionally, a language can have a compiler or interpreter built, or even exist without either (though it wouldn't be so useful in the last case).

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about a year ago | (#43537757)

You failed to see the irony... Yep, Javascript is a programming language and you can do many things with it. However, it is a language so defective, so bad, so WRONG that is possible to question if it is really a programming language.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537137)

You mean chromebook?

Re:HTML isn't anymore (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43537179)

Just eliminating Flash and Javascript for example would eliminate a vast majority of the world's browsing headaches.

If you know of a language that will do what Flash and Javascript will do with no headaches, please share it with us.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43537237)

If by operating system, you mean one that loads from a remote location then look up PXE

If by operating system, you mean desktop environment, look up anything ranging from RDP and VNC to Chrome OS to eyeOS, Cloudo, Glide or tons of others.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#43537313)

We are so close to a Web-based operating system I can taste it.

One of the things I like to say is, "In the long run, all file formats become programming languages". When somebody says they need a simple format for a config file or something, inevitably scope creep causes them to ask for something like a conditional (can you have a config setup so that if we're running offline it does this; but if the network is available it does that?). For the developer of the file format, *any* file format, it's a good idea to have a language developer's perspective.

Now, once you look at programming languages you start to get drawn into operating systems. C was developed in conjunction with Unix. Forth tends to become an operating system. Lisp, although it runs in userspace is used as a shell via Emacs and some have compared that to an OS. They talked about building Java chips at one point, and a Java OS certainly would have been written to go with it--it's only natural.

Thus I feel compelled to revise my little one-liner. "In the long run, all file formats become operating systems".

The next time the boss says he needs a flat-text config file, think about what kind of scheduling algorithm you want to use.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43537409)

The next time the boss says he needs a flat-text config file, think about what kind of scheduling algorithm you want to use.

That's hilarious.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537447)

They did make Java chips. Embedded developers didn't fall for the pile of crap that Java is, so they failed.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (3, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43537335)

Just eliminating Flash and Javascript for example would eliminate a vast majority of the world's browsing headaches.

HTML needs an active companion language, an actual programming language

The big problems inherent to Flash and Javascript are not that they don't work. It's that both involve letting arbitrary code run on your computer and their security isn't perfect.

Replacing them with a new programming language that will run arbitrary programs on your computer is not going to solve that because a new language isn't going to have perfect security either.

With a new, active language, you'd still get annoying ads, drive-by malware downloads, pages that load a several megabytes of crappy code to display three lines of text and all of the other problems that make people hate Flash and Javascript.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (0)

oGMo (379) | about a year ago | (#43537365)

We are so close to a Web-based operating system I can taste it.

Why yes, only a few simple modifications to the standard and soon we'll be writing kernel modules and drivers in HTML6. Joy!

Blech.

How can you go from "severe scope creep" to "hey let's add more scope!" with a straight face? Clearly, HTML is far beyond its original intent, and getting by on horrible hacks. Browsers can now do things on a shiny new 3.5GHz machine and $600 video card at nearly half the speed they could 14 years ago on a 200MHz P2 with a Voodoo2. Quake 3! Woo!

Let's start talking about how we can replace browsers and HTML.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43537389)

We are so close to a Web-based operating system I can taste it.

Technically, we're there [bellard.org] . Runs on the iPhone, too, so if you ever dreamed of running Linux on your iPhone, there's your chance.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#43537567)

Just eliminating Flash and Javascript for example would eliminate a vast majority of the world's browsing headaches.

CSS3 allows to do some animation effects that are currently done in Javascript, but that's probably the best you will ever get. I don't think we will ever get completely get rid of Javascript, it has just become to integral to what people do on the web these days.

But it's not just the web developers that are to be blamed for this. Browser developers have done extremely little to actually derive benefit from the HTML markup. Stuff like Readability should have been a standard part of all browsers years ago, yet it's still missing in Firefox.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537629)

We are so close to a Web-based operating system I can taste it.

Ah yes, the time-honored "we just need to throw everything away and start with a new thing, which won't EVER acquire the same warts as the old one, and which everybody will simultaneously implement and deploy everywhere" gambit.

That's not a Web-based OS you're tasting, it's YOUR OWN ASSHOLE. Try removing your head from your ass to get a clearer perspective.

Re:HTML isn't anymore (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43537663)

Originally HTML was just to mark up bits of text which the browser would render in any way it deemed appropriate. So we would have level of headers, different identifiers for test we might want to emphasis, quote, etc. A bit of test might be marked a an adress to picture or whatever else we want, and if the browser knew what to do with it, could display it or whatever. This is to say the standard did not specify how anything might look, only what it is. This separated the presentation from the content, which was largely the style in the pre desktop publishing era.

While this was useful, it was not what many people wanted. The first sign that all was not well was the blink tag which specified behavior. The everyone started using tables to position content, which was an effective but inelegant kludge. Then MS made a browser that was not intended to render generic HTML but was instead a application front end designed to allow integration between it's MS Windows platforms which had various levels of incompatibility. While many who wanted profitable business on the web designed for HTML, some did target MS IE, which lead to a great schism in the web. After much tumultuous transformations, we ended up with HTML and CSS.

Really this is ideal. HTML needs to go back to just being a mark up language without a presentation component. For those who want or need to define the presentation that the browser will use, CSS allows that to happen. One thing that HTML anticipated, and CSS allows, is the variation in screen size. With proper markup and CSS, there is no reason why a page cannot be displayed on a 20' screen of 5' screen. Of course this is real victim of the legacy of control freaks killing the beauty of HTML. There are too many web pages that do not render well in any window size. Elements do not scale, do not fall off the edge. Some pages are even designed for only resolution. Madness.

what are you even saying? (5, Insightful)

fazey (2806709) | about a year ago | (#43537071)

If you break the html standard... each browser will interpret things even more differently than they already do. This means you now have to give a crap about what browser the visitor of your site is using, because the developers went off and did their own thing. I'm glad the author found some toys he likes... but this hardly makes an html standard useless. For example, what does this do for tomcat? What does this do for ASP.NET? The answer is nothing.

Re:what are you even saying? (5, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43537293)

Yep, the author doesn't truly understand WHY HTML works and that's because it's interpreted by the browser a certain way. There already exist a plethora of differences between IE and firefox/chrome, de-standardizing HTML would make it impossible to create websites that look consistent to all users.

Re:what are you even saying? (1)

jeti (105266) | about a year ago | (#43537457)

Nope. Each element would use the relevant display properties defined in the CSS. If the value of a property is not explicitly defined, the default value of the property is used. Some of the inconsistencies between browsers stem from the fact that they assume different default properties (like margins) for specific elements.

Personally, I like the clean minimalism of what I think is being proposed.

Re:what are you even saying? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43537683)

Without an html standard, how do we know what the display property means?

Re:what are you even saying? (1)

simonstl (42816) | about a year ago | (#43537763)

The display property is in the CSS standard, not the HTML standard. You don't need the HTML standard to use it.

Re:what are you even saying? (1)

simonstl (42816) | about a year ago | (#43537531)

Most of what actually mattered when HTML first appeared - presentation, behavior, and semantics - has already been refactored into CSS and JavaScript and WAI-ARIA.

The question today is whether you want to live only inside that hollow shell, or whether you'd like to look into extending it to fit your needs. CSS, JS, and WAI-ARIA will work just as well for your own markup as they work for HTML.

You're right that this shouldn't affect back-end technologies much at all. To them it's all just markup.

Fix it.... (2)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year ago | (#43537077)

But it's working the way it is. The time-honored software way is to fix it.

Just like the good ol' MSIE days! (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43537083)

<_MSIE_XZ92 MS_FONT_TP = "comic sans" Q_BINARY_BLOB = "89FF372198A" BRWSR_FOO_P = "unidiv/flimblargle">Great idea!</_MSIE_XZ92>

This post optimized for viewing with with MSIE 9.3.

People have short memories it seems. (2)

PCK (4192) | about a year ago | (#43537221)

Netscape navigator introduced the notorious BLINK tag and things like frames, back in the early days it pretty much was a free for all.

Re:People have short memories it seems. (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year ago | (#43537333)

Yes, but as annoying as that was, at least a human being could still read the code.

Please standardize more (5, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year ago | (#43537089)

The web worked when it had a simple standard that worked in every situation.

We've put layers on top of that, and now it's chaos. A bloated, irregular, often incomprehensible chaos designed to allow people to make custom interfaces out of the web.

The whole point of the web, versus having an application for every specific task (like we did on desktops before the 1990s, and like we now do on smartphones), was to have a standard and simplified interface.

The web grew and thrived under that goal. It's become more corporate, nuanced, isolated, sealed-off, etc. under our "new" way.

Re:Please standardize more (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43537209)

like we did on desktops before the 1990s, and like we now do on smartphones

I get your point, but the above quote contradicts it. We've gone 'back' to the stovepipes of the pre 90s with phones and apps. I'd say it's a reasonable question to ask if technology has made stovepipe systems palatable and/or feasible now.

Or putting it another way, see Apple's superbowl commercial...sometimes having differences is a good thing. Of course sometimes its not, but knowing the difference is tough to deduce sometimes.

Re:Please standardize more (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43537223)

Not so much that as there's new ways to do things, you can still make a plain html / css / jscript site just fine, it's just that jQuery may solve a lot of jscript headaches for you & a server side language can allow you to data mine, as well as google who can keep track of your traffic.

Those layers have made the web a lot more capable to the point where you can administrate an enterprise network through a browser.

Why would you want to do that? Well, nobody wants to be attached to their work computer at the waist.

Also, what standards aren't in place now that were then?

I emphasize with you that there's so many plugins / add-ons / languages around now that it's hard to pick what's easiest / works the best, but remember that 99% of stuff can be done using basics.

Extending the DOM; WAI-ARIA in search engines (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43537101)

"Instead, the author proposes that CSS, Javascript+DOM, the W3C's accessibility framework, and Web Components are sufficient to implement the rendering of smaller, domain-specific markups."

In other words, implement everything new as polyfills [wikipedia.org] . But how would one have implemented new HTML5 features, such as the 2D Canvas, WebGL, and the video tag as polyfills? Even if one doesn't standardize new extensions to HTML markup, one still needs to standardize new extensions to the DOM. In addition, no new elements means that user agents that do not process script or WAI-ARIA, such as robots used by search engines, won't be able to make sense of pages. Do any current web search engines process WAI-ARIA?

Re:Extending the DOM; WAI-ARIA in search engines (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43537315)

The author's proposal sounds suspiciously like he has fallen for the seductive path of elegant generalizations(that are too theoretical for the ugly details to yet be visible) instead of confronting the ugly details that our current attempt at standardization has made visible...

To be sure, the sausage-by-comittee that tends to result when you try to standardize something is quite ugly and takes ages to settle down; but if the proposal is "Just let people use whatever shims they want for everything" you haven't really solved the problem, just comitted yourself to standardizing a suitably powerful interface for the shims to sit on, along with giant piles of shim-dependent code that crawlers and any other applications that break the shims' assumptions won't be able to make the slightest sense of.

Heck, for maximum elegance in the core standards, we could just replace virtually everything with the "Object" tag, and let people embed whatever they want, or abandon this 'HTML' nonsense entirely and just make Native Client [google.com] the standard, freeing developers to implement pretty much any conceivable structure, from a legacy browser engine, to a Flash client, to a TECO interpreter built entirely out of Minecraft redstone logic, as the shim for their 'site'. A glorious age of unfettered freedom!

Recent history (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537115)

Nonstandard HTML! Because remember, IE6 stands for "Is Excellent, 6"!

I guess the kids today consider "ten years ago" to be "ancient history" and thus not worth learning?

Re:Recent history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537201)

You missed a pair of sixes there.

Re:Recent history (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537373)

-1 Lame joke

Standardize! (4, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#43537119)

CSS, HTML and JavaScript need to be standardized and built to work together. If you want to add your own libraries on then that is fine but I run into so many issues with different browsers handling my scripts differently, this is 100% due to nothing being standardized. I shouldn't have to use special operators or libraries to create the effects I want / need.

Re:Standardize! (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#43537263)

The only cool thing about the web is the delivery model.

CSS, HTML and Javascript should be optional components you *can* use to build web apps, not "the one way" because they're horrifically shitty for anything but simple use cases.

If the web was more bare bones, it would be a much richer, faster, better, diverse place... as long as the security model works. Something like Google's Nacl would be much better than web sites as we know them.

Re:Standardize! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537451)

The only cool thing about the web is the delivery model.

CSS, HTML and Javascript should be optional components you *can* use to build web apps, not "the one way" because they're horrifically shitty for anything but simple use cases.

If the web was more bare bones, it would be a much richer, faster, better, diverse place... as long as the security model works. Something like Google's Nacl would be much better than web sites as we know them.

But isn't it part of the beauty of the web delivery model that it works across different devices and OS's without having to target them separately/distribute a new runtime environment (repeating Java/Flash..)? Good luck getting Nacl onto iOS devices fx.

Native apps that just use the internet for communication really isn't new at all, have been quite common all along (I'm fx running streaming Spotify in the background here), but isn't the web.

Re:Standardize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537283)

CSS, HTML and JavaScript need to be standardized and built to work together.

Or replaced.
HTML isn't really suited as a description language for web-pages as they look today and CSS is pretty much a patch to make it work slightly smoother.
I can't name a better description format at the moment but I suspect that you could get a cleaner code out of many pages if you rewrote them as SVG instead of HTML.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537249)

Nooooooo

This rule should have a number: (2)

eexaa (1252378) | about a year ago | (#43537257)

If in doubt, add one more complexity layer.

No, Instead kill the Multimedia extension (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year ago | (#43537281)

Ever since Multimedia was added to HTML the spec has gone to shit:
-What codec to choose
-Patents
-And now DRM

Not of these are compatible with the idea to allow compatibility between all sites and all browsers

Re:No, Instead kill the Multimedia extension (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537499)

By "multimedia" I presume you're not talking about the simple combinations of text and images which HTML was specifically designed to support in the first place? You must mean some narrower definition of multimedia.

- What codec to choose (JPG, GIF, PNG?)
- Patents (GIF patented)

Not new problems.

Re:No, Instead kill the Multimedia extension (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43537577)

The codec/patent issues aren't from HTML. HTML itsself is content neutral. Things like this have happened before - most noteably the GIF format was patent-encumbered for many years, and the PNG format many proposed as an alternative was not fully supported by Microsoft*.

We're just repeating the same issues now that we already went through with image standards: HTML doesn't specify a media format, and there are no media formats that everyone can support. The open source side cannot support formats encumbered by patents (h264, ac3), while the commercial browser writers like Microsoft and Apple have a strong business incentive to support only their own technologies.

Google is a bit of an odd one out.

*This was back in the 'Linux is a cancer' years, which Microsoft were at their most openly evil regarding open standards.

just add an element (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537299)

There is already a way to do non standard tags. Take this and leave our html5 alone.

document.createElement('someTag');

It's the Islam folks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537331)

9/11 Attackers
Richard "ShoeBomb" [Forget his last name]
Jose Padilla (aka Abdullah al-Muhajir or Muhajir Abdullah)
Nidal (Allahu Akbar) Hassan
Time Square would be bomber
Panty-bomber dude
Jihad Jane (lived right in my neighbourhood, by the way)
Tamerlan and Joker (OMG, he's so hot and such a good boy!) Tsanaev

Different races, nationalities, and backgrounds. I wonder what the common thread is among these terrorists and terrorist wannabes.

*racks brain* Hmmm.... Viral concussions? Pre-post traumatic stress disorder? Oppressive architecture?

I give up. This is too hard.

Re:It's the Islam folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537437)

Perhaps I'm just an American simpleton, but after fucking bombs go off in Boston, shouldn't the FBI have a really short list of who the fuck are suspected or known jihadis in this area?

Why weren't warrants flying out and raids being conducted at all the relatives of these fucks immediately??? How many fucking radicals muzzies are in Boston anyway?? Russia contacted us MULTIPLE times about these fucks.

The answer, dear reader, is the true incompetence and PC nature of this fucking government. Guarantee you they did not even have these fucks on a list of people who might be trouble in that area.

Fucking. Filthy. Incompetent. Government.

Random idiot makes inflamatory remark (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year ago | (#43537349)

News at 11.

Thank you, /., for thinking this matters.

It's he retired from lack of oxygen? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43537361)

Everyone ought to see TFA and look at this fedora-wearing douche opining on subjects in which he clearly has no practical knowledge.

As if browsers need to be an even more disarrayed kludge than they already are? Yeah, 5 or more browsers and rendering engines that all have their own unique languages and markups, great idea!

Seriously, no. Just no.

Re:Is he retired from lack of oxygen? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43537469)

Damn you autocorrect. Sorry about the title typo.

simplify (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about a year ago | (#43537375)

1. Parse xml/json to dom.
2. Apply css (use css to make html tags behave as expect... But modifyable)
3. Use any supported language to manipulate.

Re:simplify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537503)

1. Parse xml/json to dom.
2. Apply css (use css to make html tags behave as expect... But modifyable)
3. Use any supported language to manipulate.

Hey! Hold it right there! Thought you could just slip that past us and we wouldn't notice? That's not a tiny little word you just brought up. That's a quite big problem of a word that you tried to handwave as a trivial problem. It's a big problem of a word that, without further definition and standardization, can easily turn that last step into "Use JScript to manipulate".

And in case you're a little 12-year-old punk who didn't bother studying history and is wondering what's wrong with that, JScript and JavaScript are two very different things.

I can relate to this way of thinking (1)

Davey (2892387) | about a year ago | (#43537379)

As somebody who's been avoiding standardisation of language for quite some time: rvt sdvrsv g stvvsr stbgvdyv rbuytynbdtyys bwrtybvey wrbywrtyrb brrbyrvyer tomato.

Re:I can relate to this way of thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537571)

MY MOTHER WAS A SAINT!

Yes! (2)

jonr (1130) | about a year ago | (#43537433)

I like it. Let's just find a good name... lets see.. we can mark up everything now... so I guess we keep the "ML" part. And content authors can create new and unknown tags, the traditional symbol for unknown is X.. I know, lets call it XML!

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537459)

Not standardizing HTML won't solve anything. Browser vendors implement new features all the time, standardization is what helps makes the new features tenable across platforms and devices. The situation's already bad enough, let's not seek to actively remove what little sanity is there just because things aren't already chaotic enough for some people.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537465)

Now there are standards so we can stop making standards. What an idiot.

HTML5 is a design by committee failure (4, Interesting)

exabrial (818005) | about a year ago | (#43537477)

HTML5 is the response by a bunch of whiners that normal xhtml is "too hard." Yes it's too hard to remember to close your tags. It's too hard to remember to put quotes around attributes. Why are humans checking your syntax? Have the danged computer check your syntax.

"Pave the cowpaths" is an excuse to appease a bunch of zealots that are hellbent on pushing their personal preferences and egos into a standard rather than designing something that is quick/easy to parse and universally render across platforms. It's only going to get worse as the standard is never completed over the next decade.

XML serialization of HTML sucks. It's verbose, and it's ugly. But it's effective because it's well defined and it leaves very little room for interpretation.

Honestly, I'd like to see two standards. One, is XHTML5 Strict that follows the XML serialization. This will be left to the big boys who have real work to do. The other standard would be an extension to MarkDown to allow CSS customization with classes and ids. This would allow the path the cowpaths crowd to get things down as fast as possible and keep the verbosity of XML out of their way.

Stop treating anecdotes from 13 year olds as news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43537487)

It gets old seeing "Here is my hastily considered opinion, with purely anecdotal support, based on my six months of experience in IT" bullshit treated as worthy a replication.

We need better web tech PERIOD. (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year ago | (#43537563)

I find it rather abhorrent that the "Web Development" has become a mish-mash of technologies: HTTP, HTML, JS, CSS and extensions: DOM, AJAX.

As a software developer this is a nightmare scenario. When we program computers, we should be programming for the web or directly on the client in a unified way that hides the intricacies of the base technologies from the developer. Imagine writing a program not knowing where it was going to run? Because you just wrote what it should do, and some compiler took care of mapping the concepts to whatever tech the client had available. C# kind of delivers this, but it is way too translucent that you're writing a web app when you are.

There is a toolkit called Wt (http://www.webtoolkit.eu/wt) that is C++. What is Wt doing with C++ on the web? It's allowing you to program your application in an object-oriented way, and the koolhit takes care of mapping things to HTML, JSS, CSS for you! Now, C++ isn't what I would have chosen, but it's a good start. But the fact that you can effortlessly write a WebApp in C++ is nothign short of amazing. And on top of that you can have your functions exported to JS for execution by the client for Ajaxing. (Not ideal that you see that, [leakage] but very cool that you don't have to know JS or AJAX)

If we stop standardizing, fine, but whatever we evolve to has to be (mandate, not conlcusion) a metric fuckton better than what er have now.

In the spirit of GNU and open source (1)

luckymae (2691983) | about a year ago | (#43537761)

In the spirit of GNU and open source, we should not have any standard, not just HTML, just like how Linux is: you can have Mir, X-Window whatever and 7600 worthless Linux distros and the users should be given "freedom" (and the developers lose their "freedom" to pay bills & rent & from proverty because nobody wants to pay for free software anyways). Hey I should work for free and let these people who don't pay my tuition use it because I'm a GNU/Saint. Fork HTML away so it ends up with 1,000,000 different standard just like GNU/Linux is. LOL.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>