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Re: DI element [Re: html 5 and accessibility issue]

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 17:09:45 -0500
Message-Id: <94FA6089-2904-4416-9222-0E0709F1033D@robburns.com>
Cc: aurélien levy <aurelien.levy@free.fr>, public-html@w3.org
To: Andrew Ramsden <andrew@irama.org>


On Jul 1, 2007, at 6:06 AM, Andrew Ramsden wrote:

>
> This may be off-topic for "html 5 and accessibility", but I agree  
> with your assertion that a di element would clarify the semantic  
> relationship between dt and dd elements.
>
> The specific use-case of dl that I see as ambiguous without a di  
> element is:
> <dl>
>     <dt></dt>
>     <dt></dt>
>     <dd></dd>
> </dl>
>
> Does this represent a two terms (one without a definition), or a  
> single term with two possible term variations?
>
> The addition of a di element could explicitly clarify the two  
> situations:
> <dl>
>     <di>
>         <dt></dt>
>     </di>
>     <di>
>         <dt></dt>
>         <dd></dd>
>     </di>
> </dl>
>
> or:
>
> <dl>
>     <di>
>         <dt></dt>
>         <dt></dt>
>         <dd></dd>
>     </di>
> </dl>
>
>
> It would also is backwards compatible with current HTML UAs (the  
> added di elements don't affect the rendering of the content).
>

I think its worth noting that this element would make the original  
semantics clear:

<dl>
     <di>
        <dd></dd>
         <dt></dt>
     </di>
</dl>

  whatever the author was trying to convey.

I think this underscores a serious problem with the identify use-case  
identify solution methodology. With out best efforts we're not going  
to be able to identify every possible use-case an author might come  
up with. However, providing rich hierarchical structured mechanisms  
within the languages will also facilitate use-cases we can't think  
up. In this way an author who learns the basics of HTML5 can use the  
language in a more flexible way that also will not break UAs that  
implement support for HTML5. The example I added would make it clear  
that the trailing <dt> is associated with the leading <dd> even if we  
can't think of a use-case within the WG. Obviously we're going to  
have to develop the language in a way that addresses use-cases.  
However there may be other dimensions that we can incorporate (like  
sufficient hierarchical structure) that will help accommodate use- 
cases we have not yet thought of.

This too helps with UA handling in that we've provided an author with  
a way to do something (we're not totally sure what they're doing, but  
they wanted to do it) and UAs will continue to group it appropriately  
(for aural and tactile browsing too). And something like <dl> adds  
another selector handle for CSS styling too. It might be possible to  
style the items of a <dl> without, it but ti wouldn't be easy.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Sunday, 1 July 2007 22:10:04 GMT

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