[wp-hackers] Tag cloud semantics

Jeremy Clarke jer at simianuprising.com
Thu Jan 24 22:55:52 GMT 2008

On Jan 24, 2008 4:54 PM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:
> On Jan 24, 2008 3:41 PM, Jeremy Clarke <jer at simianuprising.com> wrote:
> > At the risk of being a blowhard by stating the obvious, I thought the
> > point of separation of style and content was to write less markup and
> > be as compatible as possible.
> No, in fact, that's not the point of semantic markup at all. The point
> is to make the markup have actual inherent meaning beyond the
> displaying of the content.

[still talking about this, feel free to ignore if you don't like
markup-semantics chit-chat]

Yeah, I'm aware of what semantic means (though for the sake of having
an excellent definition of semantic markup in this thread, thanks for
spelling it out for everyone).

I was saying that "the separation of style and content", which you
said is antithetical to the current tag cloud function, and which is
NOT the same thing as semantic markup, has as one of it's primary
goals the reduction of markup and the compaitbility of content across

To construe hard-line semantic markup (which I find sexy, exciting and
worthwile almost all of the time) as being the same thing as "using
web standards" or "seperating style from content" I think is to miss
the point of why the latter things are popular and held in high
regard, and I think it's an undertone of this conversation. Standards
and style-free content are extremely useful on a practical level,
semantics is far more theoretical in its utility.

I'm saying that when your strict (doctype or otherwise) adherence to
semantic/standard/seperated markup principles butts up against
practical reality, you have to ask yourself why you are on the
standards boat in the first place, and that in some cases you have to
recognize that you're working against the most important goals (less
code, more coder hapiness) in favor of the more trivial ones (platonic
perfection of your markup expression).

That said, in this case it is worth going for a semantic solution if
the complexity of the CSS can be kept at a minimum (i.e. avoid
anything that involves mandatory relative sizing).

Now who wants to write a patch that allows both methods of cloud creation?

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