XSL Debate, Leventhal responds to Stephen Deach

Ketil Z Malde ketil at ii.uib.no
Wed Jun 23 10:27:34 BST 1999

"Rick Jelliffe" <ricko at allette.com.au> writes:

> There is nothing more semantic about <name> than <font>.

Yes there is, if you look at it in the proper context.

For one thing, a search engine that could tell me that it found my
search string within a <name> is probably more helpful in than one that
found it within a <font>.

The DTD can also tell me something about the semantics of <name>,
especially if it is annotated with explanatory comments, or through a
schema (although it needs to be simpler for a machine to look this
up), but just by looking at the contexts where it can appear can be
informative - <font> tags are likely to be legal just about anywhere. 

Further, element content that happen to have the same presentation
fontwise don't necessarily mean the same thing, (in theory) nobody would 
put their phone number in a <name> element to get the right

And, semantics are provided through style sheets or transformation/ 
formatting processes, just because one kind of use - e.g. formatting
for display - treats <name>a and <phone>s the same, doesn't mean that
other processing does.

Finally, meaning can be provided to tags through shared tag sets ("DTD
inheritance"), ideally, XML documents on the web should use standard
formats for common elements (names, urls, dates...) as much as

If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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