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Re: extracting semantics Re: Namespace

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 06:14:05 -0500
Message-Id: <FFF81E85-DE6D-4E37-984A-0438AA982834@robburns.com>
Cc: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>


On Jul 18, 2007, at 5:33 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Jul 18, 2007, at 13:09, Ben Boyle wrote:
>
>> Does this solve real problem? Exactly what problem?
>
> Problem:
> There are well-supported and, to some people, useful elements in  
> HTML 4.01 Transitional. It would be good to keep the stuff that is  
> useful to (at least to some) people. But there are another group of  
> people who, as a matter of principle, objects to including anything  
> considered "presentational" in the spec.
>
> Solution:
> Tweak the definitions of the elements a bit to put semantic fig  
> leaves on the previously "presentational" elements in the hope that  
> the elements could make it past the second group of people.
>
> The solution has backfired politically as a large part of the group  
> of people who object to putting "presentational" stuff in the spec  
> seems to be very uncomfortable with *any* tweaking of semantics.


Solution for controlling the presentation of a document without using  
deprecated presentational elements and attributes: Use CSS

Advantages::
It's widely supported
It allows for the separation of semantics from style (otherwise why  
not use rtf?)
It encourages more semantic solutions

Disadvantages:
None really

Perhaps the attempt to introduce new elements with the same names as  
existing elements (causing name collisions) indicates there's a need  
for some new elements like <copyright>, <disclaimer>, <important>,  
etc. However, it makes no sense to just keep presentational  
facilities there because someone finds them useful. Most of those  
facilities were added because we didn't have CSS to use at the time.  
Some people find XForms useful. That doesn't mean we're going to  
incorporate that into HTML5? Also, on the issue of principles, I  
would say those who have a case they can make on principle, should  
sway our decisions over those who apparently don't have principles to  
back up their argument.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 11:14:43 GMT

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