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

Re: 'role' should be property

From: Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 08:22:50 -0400
Message-ID: <465AC99A.1090902@earthlink.net>
To: Dannii <curiousdannii@gmail.com>
CC: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Dannii wrote:
> A <roles> element or a <link rel="rolesheet"> seems to me to be a better
> idea.

   Sure, because then you could have your styling out of sync with your
semantics. With the semantics in markup, you can bind to the markup
itself and always know that you're binding a specific presentation onto
a specific set of semantics. When you roll those semantics into a
separate files, you have ensure that both files use the same selectors
to keep the two in sync. In the former scenario, you could have a
dedicated person specialized in CSS who handles styling and a second
person who specializes in HTML. In the latter scenario, you have one
person who does BOTH presentation and semantics so that the selectors
are kept straight between files, and maybe a separate person who does
structural HTML markup. Thus you have altered the traditional division
of labor.

> It would allow you to specify the default roles of various
> elements and collections of elements, rather than repeating that
> information a hundred times or more (depending on your page it could be
> this many). And you could use any class or ID to specify them, removing
> any issues with defined class names. An individual element's role
> attribute could be used to override the default roles.

   Considering you have to have something to select via W3C Selectors,
wouldn't you just be repeating a class name in the markup instead of a
role name? Is saying |class="tree"| and then having ".tree {role: tree}"
in a separate file that may fail to load better than just |role="tree"|,
or |class="tree"| with some means of specifying a microformat to
associate with the class name? To me, it doesn't really sound like it
saves much effort, and it requires the HTML author to learn Selectors
just to add semantics to their own markup.

> People have said that having external rolesheets is a bad idea, but
> isn't this what we already have, except that instead of having them on
> your site, they're internal to the user-agent and based of the HTML
> spec?

   So we need external stuff because we have native, internally
implemented stuff?!?... Wha?!!

> User-agents will already have some sort of system to understand
> the semantics of a page, they could then augment that on a per-page
> basis based on the rolesheet, rather than based on individual elements'
> role attributes.

   I think you're being a little too presumptuous about browser
architecture. I can easily see scenarios where role sheet implementation
would be non-trivial, especially for non-CSS user agents.
Received on Monday, 28 May 2007 12:23:00 GMT

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