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Its funny, a lot of W3C members stick to see Html as an abstract model and
not as a rendering language even if all the browser propose a default
rendition for HTML elements. That default rendition is overridden by CSS
It's also funny to see that politics prevented us to see some useful
innovations to be embedded in specs coming from W3C.
a) Content editable elements
The two previous features are tremendously useful when implementing a rich
internet applications or in other words, applications running on the client
side. For example, an HTML document includes to tables, both of them need to
be edited, sorted and browsed. The behavior mechanism allows modifying the
table behavior into a new interaction component: a table that can be sorted,
edited and browsed. If we can change at run time the properties I do not see
why it is so wrong not being able to change the behavior. Moreover, the code
can be-reused in different context and this is a good practice. Idem for
content editable, such feature allows editing some parts of a document
without being constrained by limited widget sets.
In fact, add to this the capacity to include SVG content and you have an
even richer environment than flash.
A good point, recently Mozilla became more and more interesting as a rich
internet application environment. Would be great if religion positions and
right wing thinking would be replaced by practical minds and see the
appearance of useful tools helping us build rich internet application.
Macromedia presented a good model. In the beginning of the 90s, with the
appearance of powerbuilder and visual basic we got rich applications running
on the client side, the user experience was getting better and better (rich
but very little reach). In the last part of the 90s we got mass deployment
of very poor applications (very good reach but very poor experience). I hope
that we will now reach a more balanced state with high reach and rich
Didier PH Martin