## April 25, 2003

### Standard Bearer

Seems I’m on a Standards rant. Following on Evan Goer’s musings on the widely-held sentiment that the W3C’s recent work is too hideously complex for mere mortals, I read Joe Gregorio’s argument that this brittleness and complexity is bad for innovation

The web is for, and written by, humans. If we want to see the webs historical wild growth continue, it shouldn’t be choked off with machine-legible-only formats.

I 'spose I should be taken out and shot for using MathML — the epitome of machine-readable markup. But, if you could only see the source from which it’s generated, you’d find that perfectly pleasantly human-centric. Sorry if it had to go through the meat-grinder.

On the other hand, Gregorio seems to like the unstructured gobbledygook that is CSS.

You may have noticed I left CSS out of the mix. That’s because I believe CSS is very amenable to “view source”. That is, if you want to get up and running and don’t know anything about CSS or HTML, if you viewed the source for a web page and saw ‘background-color: blue’, you have a good change of figuring out what’s going on.

I don’t know. From my own experience (I had no prior knowledge of CSS before I started this blog), no one is going to figure out the CSS2 box model, or the difference between class and id selectors, by ‘viewing source’.

Indeed, quite the opposite. Except for the MathML bits, I think that the XHTML source of this blog is imminently human-readable, whereas the CSS stylesheet looks like the raccoons got into the trash again.

Posted by distler at April 25, 2003 10:22 AM

TrackBack URL for this Entry:   http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/cgi-bin/MT-3.0/dxy-tb.fcgi/146