Re: [dev] rebooting the web (it was: surf rewrite for WebKit2GTK)

From: Ralph Eastwood <>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:27:47 +0000

On 29 October 2014 19:00, FRIGN <> wrote:
> As nice as this all sounds, this is far away from reality, making you
> sound more or less like Richard Stallman philosophing about the free
> software revolution now having been waiting 25 years to happen.

Indeed! I feel like it too, unfortunately. But, in my alternate
universe, I can picture systems running it quite happily :)

> Working in an advertising agency myself, I know the underlying issue
> with the semantic web: It looks great on the paper but in reality,
> people really want to have full freedom in how their sites are
> structured.
> As a company, same as in software development, usually not the
> best solution but the fastest (= cheapest in the short-term) one
> is desired. Having to work on giant HTML-shipwrecks every day and
> how many hours I am paid to do that, I see the importance of clean
> semantics, however, companies don't learn easily, let alone customers
> who don't know the matter (all websites look the same to them in the
> end).

I recognise that problem too; my thoughts currently is that there are
a finite set of underlying website structures and layouts that a
common set can represent most of them. I'm using the concept of
semantics to refer to a limited set but necessary subset to describe
the content but not to the complex extent that has been proposed with
semantic web ideas.

> To really introduce changes to the web, it would have to be carried
> out by a conglomerate of big corporations at best behind the major
> browsers pushing a common agenda forward (starting in the codebases).
> As soon as the major browsers support a new type of markup-language,
> which could be much easier to write and develop with, a real change
> could be made.
> However, philosophing about a new way won't help much as long as it
> hasn't hit the browsers themselves.
> Moving away from XML would be a blessing! It's what I'd consider
> the switch from Web 2.0 to 3.0.

The same reason that most wikipedia pages lead back to philosophy - we
need to start from somewhere! I think one potential method is for
some sort of interface/translator (for 'read-only' websites, this
would be the equivalent of a web scraper) between existing websites.
Of course writing the translators would need to be tailored per site,
although not necessarily difficult for a programmer, will suffer
difficulty of handling the sheer quantity of the web already out there
and the suckiness of the approach.


Tai Chi Minh Ralph Eastwood
Received on Wed Oct 29 2014 - 20:27:47 CET

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