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Re: [Bug-gnuzilla] GNU LibreJS won't be removed from GNU IceCat

From: Stephan Kreutzer
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnuzilla] GNU LibreJS won't be removed from GNU IceCat
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2018 20:14:50 +0100

Hi guys,

I don't know to which extend each of you is involved in web standards -- I 
myself only observe it passively, so feel free to object to any of my following 

To me, it looks like that there can't be a HTML6 any more than there was a 
HTML4 and HTML5, because in HTML5, the crazy web guys decided that they neither 
need a DOCTYPE any more, and the deprecated version attribute for the root 
element was removed, so now, to my knowledge, there's no way to distinguish a 
HTML5 document from a HTML6 document except reading the whole thing and 
heuristically find out at the very end that it isn't the version/standard your 
custom supports, or to find out according to which Schema that document wants 
itself to be validated against. The idea here seems to be that older clients 
are supposed to still be able to read/interpret documents that contain elements 
of a newer standard, but only react to those elements they support and ignore 
all others, at the expense of never being able again to introduce new 
structures that conflict with the older standards, as there's no secure path 
for safe identification and conversion any more.

Regarding the scripting and general conception, I arrived at the impression 
that the web is more or less an application stack (forms and JS and media 
elements and whatnot) and not for mostly static documents at all, because what 
do you have for the latter? Headers, paragraphs, lists and only the most 
primitive type of link, that's basically it? The initial concept and spec seems 
to be focused on providing a mechanism to link together resources from 
different systems in different formats in lists, so it's easier to navigate 
them while the host system details are abstracted away by the URL [1], while 
the CERN research data and publications themselves weren't (re)written in HTML 
(and how could they, who would ask the world to convert all of their stuff for 
this small Hypertext system that doesn't offer a lot for text?). Later, the 
browser people abandoned the semantic web as there's more money in e-commerce, 
online applications and centralized services like Google. What would happen if 
ordinary people could run their own small clients/agents that can easily work 
with data that's published on the web without the need to bring a big, bloated 
browser that's able to parse whatever crap HTML might be out there and tries to 
make something reasonable out of it? And now that effort is revived under the 
new name "linked data", but in contrast to semantic web ideas, now humans are 
supposed to invest their valuable lifetime to read API documentation and write 
specific code for it.

I might be totally wrong with my perspective, but on 2018-12-09, it'll be the 
50th anniversary of Doug Engelbart's Mother of All Demos, so there's a group 
that tries to come up with something that's a better networked environment than 
what we usually encounter today, along the lines of the early Internet pioneers 
[2], Doug Engelbart [3], Ted Nelson [4], and I'll also add David Gelernter [5]. 
Things are all over the place as the new system isn't there yet, but


is a place to learn more about those efforts and to get involved, as I would 
doubt as of now that "HTML6" will help with some of the problems at hand.

Stephan Kreutzer

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2GylLq59rI
[2] https://archive.org/details/ComputerNetworks_TheHeraldsOfResourceSharing
[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJDv-zdhzMY, 
https://archive.org/details/000127EngelbartColloquiumPart1 from 38:00 on, 
https://archive.org/details/000127EngelbartColloquiumPart2 from 44:00 on, but 
especially from 49:19
[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3I54QXQPLA

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