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RE: The Semantic Debate

From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Mon, 7 May 2007 11:37:51 -0700
To: "'Jonas Sicking'" <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>, <www-html@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002c01c790d6$d1fcb870$078240ab@Piglet>

Jonas Sicking wrote:
> 
> I would not be opposed to adding a 'role' attribute, as long as we
> also support adding semantics the way it's done before. 

And how is that Jonas?  Outside of the "copyright" example, can you point to
another instance of how semantic meaning has been ascribed to a word or
string (sentence)?  Can you show me an example of emotion or semantic nuance
"in the wild?"  In email exchanges, we occasionally see things like:

   <sarcasm></sarcasm>
   <joke></joke>
   <critical></critical>
...and so forth, however, I've never seen: <span class="sarcasm"></span> or
<p class="joke"></p>.  If it (or something similar) exists, please do point
it out.


>>Such as using
> the class attribute (as long as it's properly prefixed as has been
> suggested before) or using new elements added to the spec.

Well, the first suggestion is a "new" concept, as is the second: both
require adding something new to the spec.  Choosing @role is cleaner (IMHO),
as it leaves the @class declarations for CSS styling, the principle reason
they are being used today anyway (it also avoids inadvertent mistaken
semantic suggestion because the author did not know better). It (@role)
already exists (for XHTML), and it already has a means to define new
"meanings" via RDF.  

Or are you suggesting adding both?  That to me seems counter-productive and
more confusing.  

The "newness" of the @role concept also allows us to educate those
garden-variety authors out there about this cool new thing we've added, as
opposed to educating them about the enhanced coolness we've added to @class
- in either case we will need to educate; the cleanness of @role strikes me
as easier to sell. (And this is based on my experience as an advocate, and
instructor, and what I do daily as an Web Accessibility Resource at my "day
job").

JF
Received on Monday, 7 May 2007 18:38:04 UTC

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