redesign the web

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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2006-06-25 13:41:36

something that's annoyed for a few years now is HTML. HTML has been obsolete for a while, but nobody's bothered to put it out of it's misery. XHTML doesn't really improve the situation, since even though it's now a subset of XML, it still doesn't address the fundamental problem of HTML: content is mixed with layout, making it near-impossible to deal with programatically. in it's current form, XHTML relies entirely on web developers to separate the content from the layout information using CSS.. the problem is that most web developers don't do this. projects like the semantic web are helping, but they're not addressing this problem either. the semantic web is mostly going for the data-and-only-data approach, which will eventually co-exist with the current disaster that is HTML.

what i'd like to have is a language that allows the description of the content of web pages, but does not allow any layout information whatsoever. it would still have things like images and links and (data) tables, but instead of prescribing layout information, the language would allow you to express the semantic relationship between the items, and it would be up to the browser to render the page according to the user's preferences. There might be an optional layout recommendation attached to the page (in a separate file altogether), but the browser would not be required to follow that. this would have the additional advantage of working on any device - for example, cellphones could render the page in a way that would be easy for mobile users. while it would look completely different from a desktop rendering of the page, it would still be fully compliant with the language specification.

does anybody know of a project out there that's working on something like this? there's some other things i'd like the language to be able to do as well, but i'll save those for later..

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