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RE: [xml-dev] hypermedia affordances

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for opening the thread.  I think it's a topic worth discussing, and I don't think you'll regret it.   I hope you don't mind having me in your thread, butI don't have background sufficient for the other thread(s).

Note that we're not actually talking about designing affordances.  We're talking about giving affordance designers what they need to work with.  In other words, the symbology on the signs needs to be 'official' and recognizable as having been put there by someone in charge.  The symbology evolves, but slowly, because otherwise, people driving the highway wouldn't recognize it.  And I don't think any specialist would reasonably say that he knows better than the humans driving the highway, he would try to work with what they already recognize.  But they might try to find out what symbology is more recognizable, what layout patterns enhance that recognizability etc.

I think an example of this is xml:tref.  While the concept may not be new (templated links as available through forms in html and I'm sure there are other examples in other languages), the idea is to make up a url in according to a single pattern so that once it gets requested once, it can be cached, and so avoid burdening the server with the next guy's request that comes along.   The "t" stands for "templated" (I made that up, believe it or not).  The "ref" stands for "reference".  Somebody else made that up, but it is recognizable.  But, maybe html has already jumped the gun on this, though I doubt it, because of that treacle thing len was talking about.


From: Stephen Green [stephengreenxml@gmail.com]
Sent: July 6, 2012 3:26 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] hypermedia affordances

I've a feeling I might be being sucked into this and live to regret it.

I'm not sure whether hypermedia affordances shouldn't be a separate thread from the MicroXML thread.

To build on an analogy from Donald Norman, if XML were analogous to a highway and XML spec creators (or MicroXML spec creators for that matter) analogous to highway (HyWay? :-) designers and engineers, then asking these to add affrodances for hypermedia would be like asking the highway designers to design the roadsigns too. The roadsigns are affordances which are certainly appropriate to a highway but including them in the highway design itself (the XML or MicroXML spec(s) by analogy) is inappropriate and best left to specialists. These specialists would take full account of the design of the road and their work is pretty much determined by that design but they don't expect the raod design to include the roadsigns too. It's not for XML (or MicroXML) to include the hypermedia affordances: The affordances are best added by specialist affordance designers.

Best regards



Stephen D Green

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