W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > February 2008

Re: HTML 5: The l (line) element

From: Dave Hodder <dmh@dmh.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 22:41:02 +0000
Message-ID: <47BA097E.8020302@dmh.org.uk>
To: public-html-comments@w3.org

David Bailey wrote:
> This sounds like an good idea and I can see a number of uses, not least
> the example you gave.  My only issue is that this functionality could be
> reproduced with <span>, or the <ul><li> combo and a CSS rule to remove
> list-style formatting, or by separating lines into individual
> paragraphs:
> http://users.bathspa.ac.uk/baid1/personal/clean-css-form.html

In practice when I use HTML today I use the 'p' element, much as you 
have in your example above.  Looking at the results on screen, however, 
I suspect very few regular people would think of them as "paragraphs" -- 
they're lines within a form, hence the 'l' element.  I've seen people 
use the <ul><li> approach too, but I think it stretches the definitions 
a bit too far.

(I'd have a preference for using the semantically meaningless block 
element <div> over its cousin, the semantically meaningless inline 
element <span>, simply because of what happens when you turn CSS off 
(View > Page Style > No Style within Firefox) or when you view from a 
text-only browser such as Lynx.)

> ... the question is, which method has the most semantic meaning?  Would
> a screen reader client differentiate <l> from <span>, <p> or <ul><li>
> when annunciating/pronouncing the text?  How does this add meaning to
> the page when analysed by a search engine?

With the use of <p> I believe screen readers usually pause in their 
speech; with <li> they announce "Item!" or similar, which isn't 
particularly useful when you're trying to navigate through or fill in a 


Received on Monday, 18 February 2008 22:41:23 UTC

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