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Re: Marking Up Poetry

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2008 10:28:54 +0100
Message-ID: <47C921D6.1020203@malform.no>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>, "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>

Ian Hickson 08-03-01 08.14:   
> On Sat, 1 Mar 2008, Sam Kuper wrote:
> > On 01/03/2008, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> > >
> > > Yes, I agree that it doesn't address Olaf's objections. I'm just
> > > saying that we <p> is already neutrally defined.
> >
> > On my current understanding of Olaf's ontology, the term "paragraph"
> > isn't neutral: it applies only to one side of the prose/poetry
> > distinction. Therefore, <p> is not neutrally defined insofar as it is
> > stated to represent a paragraph.
>
> It's not stated to represent a paragraph, it's stated to represent a
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#paragraph, which is
> defined to represent, amongst other things, a stanza in a poem.
>   

I am in doubt about the spec's (current) purpose of defining what we 
mean by 'paragraph' ... in the #paragraph fragment. Originally, I think 
it was meant to tell readers that the P element is not the only thing 
that represents a paragraph.  Now, it seems as if one of the most 
important things is to define how DEL and INS interacts with what HTML 
understands as paragraphs.  For that new purpose, I think we need a list 
of which elements represent a paragraph, as understood by #paragraph.

However, for the separation of 'paragraph' versus #paragraph: In order 
to make the text appear open and inclusive for all kinds of readers, and 
regardless of wide/narrow definition of 'paragraph', the text ougth to 
include a sentence similar to this one:

     "This is how we define/use the term "paragraph" in this 
specification: ".

The sentence "A paragraph is also formed by p elements." is unclear to 
me. At the very least, it should be linked to the rest of the the 
#paragrph section. At the minimum perhaps something like this:

     "In HTML 5, the P element represents a generic paragraph."

If you want to stress that paragraphs are not only made up of 
P-elements, then you should change at least one of the code examples to 
include e.g. the address element(*) or the LI-element - or whatever. 
(Typically, it is section 3.9 Grouping content that can form paragraphs.)

(*) Apropos address: #paragraph says that 'an address is aslo an 
paragraph'.  However, the ADDRESS element is placed in section 3.8 about 
Sections. So, can a section element also be an paragraph? (Of course, 
e.g. the BODY element can nothing but a single paragraph.)

I also would like to mention that historically, I don't think there is a 
difference between a paragraph and a heading - headers were just bits of 
the text that was "highlighted" by being placed in a paragraph of their 
own. This is also evident from many  HTML editors. E.g. the Mozilla 
editor, in its many forms, has a Paragraph menu, which can insert the 
elements p,h1-h6,address,pre.  More to the point: the h1-h6 also 
reprsents paragraphs, allthough each of them can only have a single 
paragraph.

Also, now it seems as if 'paragraph' has become more or less the generic 
"groupic content" element. But since h1-h6 is not mentioned there, I 
think it should be stressed that they too are paragraphs.

Finally, what does this NOTE mean: "The p element can be used to wrap 
individual paragraphs when there would otherwise not be any content 
other than phrasing content to separate the paragraphs from each other." 
Does this note say that <p><p>first line</p><p>second line</p></p> is 
permitted?
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Saturday, 1 March 2008 09:29:20 UTC

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