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

Re: Proposing <indent> vs. <blockquote>

From: Mike Schinkel <w3c-lists@mikeschinkel.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 22:39:07 -0400
Message-ID: <461D9BCB.3040201@mikeschinkel.com>
To: public-html@w3.org
CC: Bruce Boughton <bruce@bruceboughton.me.uk>

Bruce Boughton wrote:
> I think abuse of blockquote is so deeply engrained that, even if we 
> introduced an indent element, it wouldn't be used.  Switching from
>
>    <blockquote><p>My indented paragraph</p></blockquote>
>
> to
>
>    <indent><p>My indented paragraph</p></indent>
>
> is not really much easier or likely than switching to:
>
>    <div style="margin-left: 1em"><p>My indented paragraph</p></div>
>
> or:
>
>    <p style="margin-left: 1em">My indented paragraph</p>
>
I strongly disagree, if not the least because one can more easily 
remember <indent> whereas remembering CSS syntax is only for those who 
have taken the time to learn CSS, i.e. professional web developers.

Consider this; if your statement above was relevant then why has so much 
content been developed since CSS was made available that uses 
<blockquote> with incorrect semantics? (I'd love to hear Hixie's take on 
this as he often claims knowledge of such statistics.)
> In short: IMHO, lazy/ignorant people will still be lazy/ignorant 
> regardless of how easy you make this.  
Why are you making value judgments of people?  There are many non-lazy 
and non-ignorant people who are at tops of their fields and who want to 
contribute content but who don't have time to learn the arcanity of 
CSS.  Let's stick to the discuss please.

I think this is "the elitist" vs. "for everyman" argument.  I believe 
HTML should be very approachable by as many people as possible; others 
(like you?) want it to be usable able by the learned.  Fundamentally we 
need to decide which set of values will drive HTML development because 
debating technical issues where we have yet to establish common ground 
regarding the underlying values will only cause us to go round in circles.
> It's not exactly complicated at the moment!  Indentation is purely 
> presentational (unless you can provide a use case where there is 
> semantic meaning to indentation), so belongs to CSS.
It is very complicated for someone who doesn't know CSS, such as the 
vast majority of bloggers who do know basic HTML but don't know CSS.  If 
social media were not emerging as rapidly and pervasively as it is, my 
position might not have the same relevance but the number of people 
coding HTML that don't know CSS will soon far eclipse those who do, if 
it hasn't already.

-- 
-Mike Schinkel
http://www.mikeschinkel.com/blogs/
http://www.welldesignedurls.org
http://atlanta-web.org - http://t.oolicio.us

P.S. If it were more obvious how to make CSS work in common use-cases 
more people might learn it alongside HTML, but as is CSS really is a 
black art and I don't expect that will change any time in the 
foreseeable future.
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 02:39:34 UTC

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