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Re: Conformance of DL Groups Missing DT or DD

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 10:28:13 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0802271020080.6407@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Wed, 27 Feb 2008, Dr. Olaf Hoffmann wrote:
> 
> For historical reasons there are mainly to types of text - poetry and 
> prose. Prose can be seen as a degenerate descendant of poetry with less 
> structure, therefore if HTML5 defines prose content, 
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#prose what it exactly means is defined 
> in detail by the naming already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prose

To aid here I've renamed "prose content" to "flow content". Hopefully this 
will reduce the confusion.

In general, though, terms that are defined by the specification do not 
take on any meaning from the words used in their name. Just because 
something is called "interactive content" doesn't mean it's interactive, 
for example, unless the spec says it does.


> It is the typical practice for HTML4 if you do not find an element with 
> sufficient structure and semantical meaning, choose a closely related 
> element to get the best what you can get.

If that element is "close" but still not a fit, it's not good practice.


> Therefore in HTML4 clearly dl/dt or dl/dd is already
> the best choice for most parts of poetry.

It really isn't. :-)


> As detailled in the wiki the examples in the current HTML5 draft do not 
> use elements with a sufficient structure and are therefore bad or poor 
> examples to markup poetry.

I don't understand why the examples in the spec are bad.


> > Notwithstanding existing practice, using <dl> elements for poetry is
> > blatently wrong and an abuse of the semantics of the <dl> element, both in
> > HTML4, and in HTML5, even with HTML5's loosening of the rules.
> 
> No, see above, it is the best choice already in HTML4

It really isn't. I'm not sure what makes you think it is.


> > Poetry is no more important than stories, addresses, legal documents, 
> > letters, and any number of other document types, none of which have 
> > their own section either.
> 
> It is not more important, but it has a richer microstructure.

I do not buy that at all. Letter have a complex microstructure. So do 
dictionaries, so do legal documents, so do addresses, etc... Some of these 
are addressed by Microformats. Poetry of various kinds is already 
adequately handled just with <p>, <br>, <pre>, and the phrasing elements 
(in particular <i> and <em>); I really don't see any reason to go into 
more structure in HTML5. Define a set of class names if you really must 
deconstruct your poetry more than this (though frankly I'd say you are 
likely missing the point of the poems if you think this is necessary).

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 10:28:35 GMT

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