Re: [ForkList] Re: XForms mark the spot

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From: Håkon Wium Lie (
Date: Wed Jul 12 2000 - 00:44:06 PDT

Also sprach B.K. DeLong:

> I had the pleasure of meeting up with Edd Dumbill, Simon St. Laurent and
> Dave Simms (O'Reilly) and we got discussing the fact that the WML portion
> of WAP flies in the face of all that is markup. From a traditional Web
> developer's standpoint, the markup language was supposed to give context to
> the information and stylesheets where supposed to tell it how to look.


> WML, on the other hand, tells the phone how to render the text and make it
> look on the phone....

Not quite. The abstraction level of the WML specification is similar
to HTML's. Both languages know about paragraphs, hyperlinks, lists,
SMALL etc. HTML knows about headings, while WML knows about cards and
decks. In actual use, WML is (still) more media-independent since the
pages are not infested with street-HTML's fixed-width tables.

The worst flaw of WML is that they chose a different tag-set than HTML
to express the same semantics. It makes a great case-study in how CSS
can describe XML-based formats (see "wml.css" in Opera4's installation
directory), but it leaves 200 million or so browsers out.

> it does not markup the content. I'd like to see a
> better implementation of CSS2 which was supposed to allow for multiple
> stylesheets for different user agents so Web authors don't have to markup
> their content in fifty million different markup languages to allow it to be
> viewed on fifty million different appliances and devices.

Me too. Since IMODE is a subset of HTML -- rather than a new tag-set
-- it should be possible to publish documents that display well on
handheld devices while also offering rich presentations on more
capable media. I havn't had much chance to play with IMODE though. Any
IMODE-emulators out there?

CSS' most important contribution to handheld devices is -- IMHO -- not
that it can describe small-screen behavior, but that it encourages
efficient markup.


Chief Technology Officer Opera Software
Håkon Wium Lie gets you there faster

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