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   Re: [xml-dev] What are the arguments *for* XHTML 2.0?

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In a message dated 24/11/2002 15:13:37 GMT Standard Time, mc@xegesis.org writes:

I REALLY hope I'm wrong and that SVG+XUL+XForms are where HTML was in 1994
so.  But the fact remains that if one were to deploy a rich client app in
Flash today, it
would run on something like 99% of the browsers out there.  If one were to
deploy a
XUL+SVG rich client app, it would run on something like 1/10 of 1% of the
browsers out
there.  I'm all for betting on the underdog, but three orders of
underdogness magnitude?


This seems to me to be an overly pessimistic piece of "arithmetic".

Adobe claim(ed) to have distributed in excess of 100 million SVG viewers (various versions). Assuming that, say, 1 billion computers exist and that 95% of those run Flash (various versions) - not sure if that is overestimating Flash's current dominance - then the difference is likely to be 1 order of magnitude or less. Not insuperable.

Adobe's SVG viewer isn't the only show in town. Apache has Batik, KDE is producing KSVG for Linux, Mozilla is (slowly) adding SVG and Corel has recently announced the upcoming availability of an SVG viewer (preview available now). There is a range of Mobile SVG viewers just waiting for SVG 1.1 and SVG Mobile to go from PR to REC.

SVG is significantly ahead of where XUL and XForms are. At least for the moment. After all XForms is only at CR.

Sure, XUL and XForms may come along later. Part of what I see as the upcoming "user agent turmoil" is the change over time of what is implemented and in what order.

A key question, at least seen from my viewpoint, is **which** users have, say, SVG and what they think of it. If 10 million "influential" users have Flash but think of it in terms of "Flash isn't an enterprise tool" then Flash's wide distribution has only achieved publicity of its limitations. [Doesn't exclude the likelihood that Macromedia are working frantically to correct / reduce those limitations.]

So,I'm (very reluctantly) concluding that the short term smart money is on
Flash; the
long term hope is on the XML-based UI technolgies.  And I very strongly
agree with
Paul that a necessary condition for us to get to that long term vision is
for the alternative
browser developers and the XHTML folks to get their heads together,

Mike, I will ask you a question I asked Simon, "Why XHTML at all?".

What do you need XHTML for that SVG doesn't pretty much already do?

I wonder if that mode of thinking isn't a little like the transient phase when we had semi-mechanised tractors 70 or so years ago. It seems to me that technologies such as SVG don't need HTML/XHTML - let's leave HTML/XHTML to rest in peace.

Feel free to visit the grave of HTML/XHTML in future years, shed a tear and say "You were a great friend but your time came and now has gone. Farewell.".


that end users need to have solved, and go out and solve them together. 
Ann will
probably laugh that they can't deprecate a bit of markup without getting
screamed at,
so how can they do something truly visionary?

Um ... this is the HTML [sic] Working Group we are referring to here?

Visionary? Are you seriously suggesting that the HTML [sic] Working Group want to be visionary? Are capable of being visionary? Interesting hypothesis!

The HTML [sic] Working Group is basically fossilised into torpidity by the "dead weight" that is HTML/XHTML.

Internet time can bring us change rapidly. It can also, with HTML/XHTML, bring people rapidly to the kind of inertia and backward looking affection that owners of horse-drawn buggies had in your country maybe 100 years ago.

HTML/XHTML is the horse-drawn buggy of the Internet age. The time is coming to move on!

I am sure that someone will be delighted to quote this back to me in 5 years (or whatever) if I am wrong but I predict that HTML/XHTML will, in time, be viewed as the horse-drawn buggy of the Internet Age.

In saying that I recognise that there is a class of users, perhaps significant in number, for whom the HTML/XHTML horse drawn buggy is all they need.

  I guess I'm saying to ignore

the screamers;
XHTML 2 as an incremental tweak to XHTML 1 is going to be ignored by 99% of
users and the dominant browser developer, so why not just focus on the 1%
and do
something that will amaze them? 


Andrew Watt
"XHTML 2.0 - the W3C leading the Web to its full potential ... to implement yesterday's technology tomorrow"


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