W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

deprecate HR; replace with LS (logical seperator)

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 15:42:59 -0500
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070402203952.M44977@hicom.net>

1. why replace the HR element with LS, Logical Seperator?

1A) so that authors can attach meaningful title text, such 
as "page 21" as well as orientational info; this is a 
powerful but underutilized tool -- i use HR, in conjuntion 
with the "title" attribute, as logical seperators, on all 
of the web pages i encode, because that is precisely what 
they are - a visual manifestation of a logical seperator.  

1B) HR is a modality-specific term - the LS element could 
be rendered by a UA as a horizontal line, but that is a 
presentational problem slash decision, NOT a semantic one. 
LS is modality-neutral, and would provide for a much 
richer user experience: e.g. exposition of LS titles be 
could be switched on or toggled on and off, endowing the 
user with the ability to invoke a list of logical 
seperators, etc.

1C) HR is classified, in XHTML 1.1 [note 1], as part of 
a "Presentation Module", which is a mistake on the rec's 
part, for the presentation of a logical seperator as 
a horizontal line, is a presentational decision, not a 
semantic one.  no matter what the recommendation, HR is 
a purely presentational element, devoid of intrinsic 
meaning; LS, on the other hand, not only has intrinsic 
meaning, but frees authors from a hard-bound final-form 
presentational element;

1D) the title attribute should continue to be a required 
attribute for LS;

gregory.

Note 1: in the 2007-02-16 Working Draft of XTHML Modularization 1.1: 
[http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-xhtml11-20070216/]

the "Presentation Module", defined at:
[http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-
modularization/abstract_modules.html#s_presentationmodule]

strikes me as quite a large step backwards, as it breaks the 
golden rule: the seperation of presentation from content; it 
includes formerly deprecated elements, as demonstrated by a 
simple list of the elements that comprise the "Presentation 
Module":

B (bold)
BIG
HR
I (italics)
SMALL
SUB (subscript)
SUP (superscript)
TT

the ONLY 3 salvageable and semantically meaningful of the 
above-listed elements are:

SUB
SUP

and LS, which would replace HR. i suppose one could make a case 
that subscript and superscript have no semantic meaning, but i 
don't think of them as presentational items, but, rather, as 
meaningful holdovers from traditional typographic conventions, 
and which are intended to mark the contained text in a very 
specific and defineable manner.  and, as has been noted in 
response to my example of being confused by X H T M L T M, if 
the TM had been marked up using SUP, it could be used as a 
trigger to change presentational characteristics (such as 
raise pitch) or use of CSS2's :before and :after pseudo-elements 

[http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/generate.html#before-after-content]

by a third party program (such as a screen reader) to implicitly 
mark, inline, the beginning and end of the superscripted text, 
so as to alert the user to the context of the explicitly marked
text.

for an example of this, consult the proposed mocked-up User Agent 
Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 test page at:
[http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/wai/ua/tests/natural_language_detection
2.html]
Received on Monday, 2 April 2007 20:43:15 UTC

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