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Re: Getting beyond the ping pong match (was RE: Cleaning House)

From: Dão Gottwald <dao@design-noir.de>
Date: Sat, 05 May 2007 09:50:37 +0200
Message-ID: <463C374D.3010703@design-noir.de>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Jonas Sicking schrieb:
> 
> Dão Gottwald wrote:
>>
>> Jonas Sicking schrieb:
>>> Dão Gottwald wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Jonas Sicking schrieb:
>>>>>
>>>>> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>>>> On May 4, 2007, at 9:30 AM, John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:
>>>>>>> One of the most exciting (to me) developments in the XHTML camp 
>>>>>>> is the
>>>>>>> emergence of the ROLE attribute - as it now provides a means of 
>>>>>>> "explaining"
>>>>>>> what something is or does... To quote the W3C spec:
>>>>>>> "The role attribute takes as its value one or more white-space 
>>>>>>> separated
>>>>>>> QNames. The attribute describes the role(s) the current element 
>>>>>>> plays in the
>>>>>>> context of the document. <snip> It could also be used as a 
>>>>>>> mechanism for
>>>>>>> annotating portions of a document in a domain specific way (e.g., 
>>>>>>> a legal
>>>>>>> term taxonomy)."
>>>>>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-role/#s_role_module_attributes
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The purpose of the "role" attribute is addressed in HTML5 by the 
>>>>>> "class" attribute, along with predefined classes.
>>>>>
>>>>> Personally I think this was a very poor decision. The problem is 
>>>>> that you have user names and standard names mixed in the same 
>>>>> namespace. So there's a big risk that the user accidentally ends up 
>>>>> marking semantic meaning to their elements simply by wanting to 
>>>>> style them.
>>>>
>>>> Umm. You consider enriching the semantics of markup "by accident" a 
>>>> bug, not a feature? Even if the author added class="copyright" for 
>>>> styling purposes, what's the problem with telling the user agent and 
>>>> thereby the user that there's copyright information?
>>>
>>> It's fine if it happens to be the right semantic, sure. But it's very 
>>> likely that they'll add that to elements that has an entierly 
>>> different meaning, thereby adding the wrong semantic to it.
>>
>> You're sure that it would be "very likely"? My assumption is that the 
>> hits would outnumber the false positives by far. "role", on the other 
>> hand, would probably only be used by authors that care about semantics 
>> and accessibility.
> 
> No, of course I'm not sure. But it does seem likely that it'll be wrong 
> often enough.

I still think it would be beneficial all in all. A prefix for predefined 
classes would suffer from the same problem as the role attribute: most 
authors wouldn't use it. It's also not obvious to a novice what such a 
prefix means, or how role differs from class.

> I guess it's possible to do a survey today on a number of 
> sites and see what classnames they are using and how they are used. 
> Would definitely be interesting.

Yes, a follow-up to 
<http://code.google.com/webstats/2005-12/classes.html> would be nice.

--Dao
Received on Saturday, 5 May 2007 07:50:48 GMT

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