The WaSP Interact Curriculum group of volunteer workers are working on a book, to be published by New Riders. Among the many folks working on this book are Chris Mills, from Opera, and myself. Chris has put a few chapters up on the publishers FTP site where we all turn in our chapters. I’ve been peeking at Chris’ work.
This sounds like I’m being naughty, but actually, I need to see everyone else’s chapters. That’s because my chapter is to be a final project chapter to culminate the book, and I need to know what’s come before in order to suggest a final project.
In one of his chapters, Chris talks about semantic HTML. The phrase he used for it was “self-describing.” I think this is the most brilliant turn of phrase I’ve ever heard. Chris is my wordsmithing guru. From his penchant for British spelling to his drumsticks, he’s every bit my hero.
If you are marking up content with semantic HTML, the HTML itself describes for you what the content is. It’s a paragraph, it’s a list, it’s a blockquote, it’s a heading, it’s a citation, it’s emphasized. You can trust this to be what you are reading, because it’s marked up with the HTML to describe it as exactly what it is.
Self describing. So simple yet so complete.
The best ideas always are.