Jeff Croft has posted a very interesting article, The new layers of web development, presenting a view of the Web development landscape that’s been simmering in the back of my head, but that I’ve never been able to articulate in any coherent manner. Ultimately, my view that balance is good, all the more so when developing in the real world of corporations large and small, is based on discussions such as the one that has formed in the comments of the article.
HTML isn’t built for purity. So we might as well stop saddling it with those expectations. When the “pure” structure is stored somewhere else, the markup is just a translation. Use the best-available language to capture the essence of the structure in a medium-appropriate presentation. And if some of the subtler semantic nuances get lost in translation, well that just comes with the territory.