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Re: Review: 3.4.6. The irrelevant attribute

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 19:52:32 +0000 (UTC)
To: Mihai Sucan <mihai.sucan@gmail.com>
Cc: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0708101939460.20226@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Fri, 3 Aug 2007, Mihai Sucan wrote:
> I have reviewed 3.4.6. "the irrelevant attribute" section in the HTML 5 
> specification [1] and I found several errors.
> 1. "In the following skeletal example, the attribute is used to hide the 
> *a* Web game until the user logs in:"
> The emphasized *a* needs to be removed.


> 2. The first example contains an error. The section with ID=game needs 
> to have the irrelevant attribute set, because the script sets the 
> section.irrelevant = false - however, the section was never irrelevant.


> 3. The second example does not seem to be properly separated from the 
> first because the paragraph which immediately follows the first example 
> is expected to be an explanation of the first example. However, when one 
> reads the paragraph and looks at the code of the second example, it 
> becomes clear that the paragraph actually referrs to the second example. 
> This is confusing.

I've separated the two into two example blocks, but, the paragraph in 
question starts with "In the following example", so I don't really see 
what was confusing.

> 4. "In the following example, an image acts as a surrogate for *an* video."


> 5. I would suggest improvements for the description of the second 
> example. Currently, the description seems ... "dense" and complicated. 
> Here's my try to improve the description:

I've used your suggestion (in part).

> 6. The description of the second example currently starts like this "in 
> the following example, an image acts as a surrogate for an video. When 
> the image is clicked, *it* tries to load the video (and disables the 
> playback button)."
> Setting aside the mistake with "an video". I am now focusing on the "it 
> tries to load the video". What's "it" in this context? The image tries 
> to load the video? The UA? The user? I think an appropriate replacement 
> for "it" in this context is "the script tries to load the video".

The "it" was "the example". Fixed to "the script".

> 7. The explanation of the second example contains quite many 
> parentheses. As a matter of style, I do recommend using fewer 
> parentheses by rephrasing the explanation a bit. Here's my take on this: 
> [...]

Your suggestion just trades excess brackets for commas. :-)

I've cleaned it up some.

> In the last phrase, I mention the runtime error, becuase the code should 
> actually check if the load() function is available, and blah blah. I 
> consider better to mention this fact, just like the explanation mentions 
> the error message is not helpful.

I've removed the error.

> 8. I would like to comment on the use of the "irrelevant" attribute. 
> Shortly, I believe web developers will use this as a quick way to *hide* 
> elements - irrespective of the *semantical* use of the attribute. Why 
> was this added? Where is it needed? Both of the provided examples seems 
> like good candidates for using element.style.display=none with today's 
> UAs.

It's needed specifically to avoid requiring the use of style to obtain 
semantic effects. Consider that it should be possible to ignore "style" 
attributes without affecting the "accessibility" of the page. (I'm using 
the term to mean more than just access to handicaped users here.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 10 August 2007 19:52:42 UTC

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