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Re: HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 14:16:11 +0000
Cc: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'John Foliot'" <foliot@wats.ca>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <FD0BCF4D-440B-4231-B82D-428AA2DD07E3@robburns.com>
To: "Justin James" <j_james@mindspring.com>

Hi Justin,

I'm trying to understand the point you're making with some difficulty.  
Considering your second example:

> Example #2:
>
> <div role="paragraph">Text goes here.</div>
>
> In this case, the role of "paragraph" mandates that there be textual  
> content within the tag.

In advocating the use of attributes over element type names, what are  
you trying to accomplish. For example what if your example was instead:

<paragraph">Text goes here.</paragraph>

? Both the element type name and the attribute names and values add  
semantic distinctions to the document. Are you simply saying you want  
the element type names to only distinguish technical differences  
(content models for example), and that the attributes should be used  
to differentiate the more heuristic and human perceivable  
distinctions? I'm not sure why a markup specification should make such  
a distinction.

However, I will say that given the constrains of existing browsers and  
other UA implementations in parsing HTML, we are much better off  
introducing new attributes than introducing new elements. New elements  
such as VIDEO, FIGURE, SECTION etc. will not parse correctly with  
existing, recent and legacy UAs. However, using <div role='section'>  
will parse correctly with existing UAs and HTML5 aware UAs can apply  
the proper presentation and treatment of such elements. Likewise  
adding the markup content attributes for video and audio (time-based,  
spatial and audible properties) to the OBJECT element instead of  
introducing new elements would be more in keeping with the Design  
Principles of the WG. However, I sense you're saying something else in  
the abstract in this element/ attribute distinction.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Saturday, 10 May 2008 14:17:12 UTC

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