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Re: DIALOG v. DL??

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 21:58:32 +0000 (UTC)
To: Emma Pratt <Emma.Pratt@bbc.co.uk>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0908302148080.6775@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 21 Aug 2009, Emma Pratt wrote:
>
> Someone recently pointed out the <dialog> element, which is part of the 
> current HTML5 specification.  I understand the usefulness of elements 
> that can mark-up a conversation thread, but doesn't corrupting <dl> just 
> further muddy things?

The reason for introducing a new element is precisely to avoid corrupting 
<dl> at all.


> I'm aware definition lists were rather loosely specified in HTML4, which 
> has lead to all sorts of debate on their usage among developers, but 
> wouldn't it be better to have a more generic way of coding a list of 
> associated items rather than a multitude of context specific elements?

I'm not really sure what you mean. <dialog> isn't related to <dl>.

   <dl>
    <dt>A
    <dt>B
    <dd>1
    <dd>2
    <dt>C
    <dd>3
   </dl>

...associates A and B with 1 and 2, and C with 3.

<dialog> is for marking up dialogue, and is unrelated to <dl>.


> During our recent discussion, someone suggested having an association 
> list.  This could handle glossaries, dialog, and a whole range of other 
> types of association... although I don't think such lists should replace 
> a sensible heading structure, just as definition lists shouldn't have.

I don't think a dialog and a glossary are equivalent at all. <dl> is the 
element for assocation lists. <dialog> is for conversations. Conversations 
aren't association lists.


> Here are some potential examples (using association list - al, list item
> - li, association term - at, association data - ad):
> 
> <h2>Coder's Glossary</h2>
> <al>
>  <li>
>   <at>HTML</at>
>   <ad>Hyper-Text Markup Language</ad>
>   <ad>predominent markup language for web pages</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>element</at>
>   <at>tag</at>
>   <ad>basic components for code markup</ad>
>  </li>
> </al>

You can do that today:

   <h2>Coder's Glossary</h2>
   <dl>
    <dt>HTML</dt>
    <dd>Hyper-Text Markup Language</dd>
    <dd>predominent markup language for web pages</dd>
    <dt>element</dt>
    <dt>tag</dt>
    <dd>basic components for code markup</dd>
   </dl>


> <h2>Conversation</h2>
> <al>
>  <li>
>   <at>Emma</at>
>   <ad>Why didn't you specify an association list?</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>W3.org</at>
>   <at>...</ad>
>  </li>
> </al>

You can do that in HTML5:

   <h2>Conversation</h2>
   <dialog>
    <dt>Emmo</dt>
    <dd>Why didn't you specify an association list?</dd>
    <dt>W3.org</dt>
    <dd>We did</dd>
   </dialog>


> <h2>Weekly Weather Forecast</h2>
> <al>
>  <li>
>   <at>Monday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Tuesday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Wednesday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Thursday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
>  <li>
>   <at>Friday</at>
>   <ad><img />Sunshine</ad>
>  </li>
> </al>

   <h2>Weekly Weather Forecast</h2>
   <dl>
    <dt>Monday</dt>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dt>Tueday</dt>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dt>Wednesday</dt>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dt>Thursday</dt>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
    <dt>Friday</dt>
    <dd><img src="sun.png" alt=""> Sunshine</dd>
   </dl>

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 30 August 2009 21:56:42 GMT

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