W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-bugzilla@w3.org > December 2009

[Bug 8404] Refocus the figure element back to being a figure

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 2009 01:48:53 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1NFHrJ-0003xv-FZ@wiggum.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=8404





--- Comment #34 from Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>  2009-12-01 01:48:52 ---
(In reply to comment #32)
> (In reply to comment #31)
> > 
> > I wasn't happy with the use of iframe either. It was another idea.
> > 
> > Frankly, I'm thinking the best thing to do is to remove figure. It is too
> > general to be useful semantically, and people will be confused when figures are
> > used for material that is not graphical or an illustration. And there's nothing
> > in the definition of figure that prevents non-illustrative material. 
> 
> Removing figure would best be expressed as a separate bug I think. Would you be
> ok with closing this one, or do you still think restricting the content model
> is a good approach?
> 
> That being said, I do think <figure> has semantic value. Specifically,
> extracting a list of tables and figures is a common thing to do with a lengthy
> illustrated document. Doing that by looking for <figure> and <table> elements
> seems pretty handy. 
> 
> I do think the HTML5 spec should have normative text that <figure> is for
> illustrative purposes (in the broad sense). This is the purpose of figures and
> is one thing that distinguishes them from various kinds of asides.
> 
> > 
> > You referenced Docbook earlier, but the definition for figure in Docbook is for
> > illustrative purposes. If we don't restrict the elements to those compatible
> > with illustrative purposes, then figure will be misused. People probably won't
> > know when to use aside, and when to use figure. 
> 
> Print authors seem to know when to use a figure and when to use a sidebar or
> pull quote. I don't think Web authors will do that much worse. I would guess
> the most common use in the end will be for images, whatever the validator says.
> 

No, I don't want this one closed. 

What I stated in this bug is a real concern: figure is ill-defined, and too
generic to be semantically meaningful, and will cause problems later on. How
the contents of figure are defined, repurposing dt/dd is already a problem.

Another option rather than fixing figure is to get rid of it. And I probably
will do a separate bug, since this is the only way to suggest an alternative.
But I want this one kept alive. During the discussion, we may be able to derive
a solution to all our concerns. 


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Received on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 01:48:54 UTC

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