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

Re: 3.1 Introduction (Draft), review of

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 02:07:54 -0500
Message-Id: <6713543D-2F23-46E8-9C8D-519EC1820284@robburns.com>
Cc: Philip Taylor <philip@zaynar.demon.co.uk>, public-html@w3.org
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>


On Jul 17, 2007, at 1:55 AM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

>
> On Jul 16, 2007, at 10:28 PM, Robert Burns wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On Jul 16, 2007, at 10:00 PM, Robert Burns wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jul 16, 2007, at 9:44 PM, Philip Taylor wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Robert Burns wrote:
>>>>> First, I think there's a danger of going into too much detail   
>>>>> regarding optional tags. The only things I think might need to  
>>>>> be in  an introductory section (maybe) are:
>>>>> 1) that empty elements must have their closing tag omitted  
>>>>> unless an  author uses the xml-style self-closing tag (e.g.,  
>>>>> <link />).
>>>>> 2) that empty elements must be closed when using the xml   
>>>>> serialization: i..e., either (<link></link> or <link />)
>>>>> So to avoid this confusion and simplify things, it may make  
>>>>> sense to  always recommend (or as far as this introduction  
>>>>> goes, just gloss- over the difference so that authors use) the  
>>>>> self-closing tag for  empty elements.
>>>>
>>>> Teaching authors about XML-style self-closing tags is also a  
>>>> cause of confusion.
>>>
>>>
>>> Just to clarify, when I wrote "empty elements", I meant  
>>> canonically empty elements (i.e., elements required to be empty).  
>>> Yes, I agree that encouraging the shortcut everywhere be a bad  
>>> thing for the text/html serialization. I don't think any of your  
>>> following examples relate to that.
>>
>> What I meant to say here is that none of the examples relate to  
>> the elements with empty content models and that the examples you  
>> listed are specifically elements that do not have empty content  
>> models. I think we if advised authors to use the self-closing tag  
>> on elements with empty content models (and highlighted how the  
>> chapter shows those at the beginning of each section/subsection),  
>> that would be a simple guideline to follow (for an introductory  
>> section). Getting into more detail than that right there (e.g.,  
>> discussing differences between xml and non-xml serializations)  
>> would be counter-productive.
>
> I think its better to advise authors that some tags don't have a  
> close tag, and list what those are. That seems less confusing than  
> telling them to use a self-closing syntax in such cases, when that  
> syntax does not in fact indicate self-closing in HTML at all.

Except in relation to chapter 3 we're talking independent of  
serialization. There may be some other way to artfully avoid any  
discussion of serialization and syntax and may that's the way to go  
here. However, it would be incorrect to say that some elements do not  
have close tags because that's dependent on the text/html  
serialization. From the disagreement here and on further reflection,  
perhaps this introduction should just avoid syntactical issues and  
focus on the document as a tree of elements (elements with content  
and attributes and nothing more). Then we don't need to talk about  
the specifics of how those elements are serialized  or syntactically  
constituted.

I started off my post by saying I thought there was a danger of going  
into too much detail here. I stand by that. I really don't think a  
discussion of syntax is necessary in this introductory section.  
Elements, content models, attributes, semantics, default or sample  
presentation, etc. Forget about tags and short-hand notation. That's  
for another chapter.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Tuesday, 17 July 2007 07:08:12 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:02 GMT