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From Octav Chipara <ochip...@cse.unl.edu>
Subject Re: XML-HTML-XHTML-WML-VXML.........**ML
Date Sat, 10 Jun 2000 02:24:31 GMT

Hi Arnaud,

I do not want to play the devils advocate, but I have to remind you that
even though you can separate the data from the presentation level, HTML
was no designed to do this. HTML was designed to be a presentation
language. Even though you can make the same things as you are doing with
XML (you can play with the HTML DOM + Java Script + CSS), this does not
eleveiate many of the problems that you are faced with. However, even if I
disagree with you (in part) about HTML, I agree that to be able to fully
use the power of XML, we must agree upon a standard for metacontent. I
hope, that even without a standard, the idea for using XML as metacontent
is appealing to many of us.


e-mail:         ochipara@cse.unl.edu
phone:		(402)472-9492
web page:	www.cse.unl.edu/~ochipara

On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Arnaud Le Hors wrote:

> Douglass Turner wrote:
> > 
> > A fundemental feature of XML that has not been mentioned is that it allows
> > the design of a custom domain specific language that includes crucial meta
> > data, something HTML is incapable of.
> Just for the sake of getting things straight, this last statement is
> simply wrong. With HTML 4.0, through the use of the elements SPAN and
> DIV you can do that! Indeed, although they're most commonly used just to
> hold style information nothing prevent you from using them to add
> "semantic" to your document. All you have to do is use the class
> attribute to store the element name you would use. So you could easily
> have something like:
> <div class='person'>
>    <div class='first-name'>Arnaud</div>
>    <div class='last-name'>Le Hors</div>
>    <div class='gender'>male</div>
> </div>
> By the same token, it is wrong to state that HTML is only about
> presentation. Again, HTML 4.0 along with CSS allows you to clearly
> separate the structure from the presentation.
> This said, XML clearly gives you much more freedom in how you can
> organize your data and is therefore better suited for handling data in
> general. 
> > You could then make domain specific queries and searches that would yield
> > far more accurate results then the woefull mess that currently exists with
> > HTML based search engines.
> Things aren't that easy though. XML by itself is far from being enough
> to make search engines much smarter. Until people come up with common
> markup that search engines developers can use to make their program
> smarter about the information they look into, they will be just as much
> clueless as they are today. What's great with XML is that anyone can
> create his/her own markup. But that only makes search engines harder to
> implement. With HTML at least everybody knows what <p> means. With XML
> it could be <para> or <paragraph> just as well. Nobody knows... XML is
> only a syntax. It doesn't carry any semantic by itself...
> -- 
> Arnaud  Le Hors - IBM Cupertino, XML Technology Group
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